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Tea workers� wages: ACMS decries govt move

By Ron Duarah
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DIBRUGARH, Jan 13 � Dileswar Tanti, general secretary of the Assam Chah Mazdoor Sangha (ACMS), today came out heavily against a move by the Assam Government to constitute a committee to sort out wage-related issues of the State�s tea labourers. He said the Tarun Gogoi government is deliberately conspiring to demean the ACMS but ignoring the organisation�s �predominance over the tea labourers.�

The ACMS is also miffed that the new to-be-formed committee will be headed by the State�s Chief Secretary and not by the State Labour Minister, as has been the convention earlier.

Under the Minimum Wages Act of 1948, the State government has constituted a committee with the Chief Secretary as chairman and the State Labour Commissioner as member secretary to thrash out new rates of wages for tea labourers. The State government this time has also invited a couple of other tea labour unions � not all of them accredited to the tea managements � to take part in the deliberations. Tanti says the �invitation of these unrecognised unions is mischievous.�

In the past, tea wages were primarily thrashed out between the managements, represented by a body called the Consultative Committee of Plantation Associations (CCPA), and the ACMS. The CCPA was primarily Indian Tea Association constituents, with a sprinkling of lesser management associations like the Assam Tea Planters� Association, North Eastern Tea Association, Bharatiya Cha Parishad, Tea Association of India, etc. These wage negotiations used to be held under section 2(P) of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947.

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Tea workers� wages: ACMS decries govt move

DIBRUGARH, Jan 13 � Dileswar Tanti, general secretary of the Assam Chah Mazdoor Sangha (ACMS), today came out heavily against a move by the Assam Government to constitute a committee to sort out wage-related issues of the State�s tea labourers. He said the Tarun Gogoi government is deliberately conspiring to demean the ACMS but ignoring the organisation�s �predominance over the tea labourers.�

The ACMS is also miffed that the new to-be-formed committee will be headed by the State�s Chief Secretary and not by the State Labour Minister, as has been the convention earlier.

Under the Minimum Wages Act of 1948, the State government has constituted a committee with the Chief Secretary as chairman and the State Labour Commissioner as member secretary to thrash out new rates of wages for tea labourers. The State government this time has also invited a couple of other tea labour unions � not all of them accredited to the tea managements � to take part in the deliberations. Tanti says the �invitation of these unrecognised unions is mischievous.�

In the past, tea wages were primarily thrashed out between the managements, represented by a body called the Consultative Committee of Plantation Associations (CCPA), and the ACMS. The CCPA was primarily Indian Tea Association constituents, with a sprinkling of lesser management associations like the Assam Tea Planters� Association, North Eastern Tea Association, Bharatiya Cha Parishad, Tea Association of India, etc. These wage negotiations used to be held under section 2(P) of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947.