GJM trade union hikes workers daily wage
Darjeeling: The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha's trade union has decided to accept an interim hike of Rs 17.50 in the worker's daily wage but a sour note has been stuck with the body stating that gardens would be allowed to dispatch their first flush as and when they clear the bonus dues.
Bharat Thakuri, the general secretary of the Darjeeling Terai Dooars Plantation Labour Union, said: "Since this is an interim hike, we will accept this it. However, negotiations for minimum wages will continue."
The state government has fixed a meeting in Calcutta on March 12 to discuss the minimum wage for tea garden workers.
The hill gardens had agreed to pay bonus at the rate of 19.75 per cent of a worker's annual earning but most gardens have cleared only 50 per cent of the bonus citing the three-month strife in the hills.
During a meeting in Siliguri on Thursday, the state government has directed the hill tea garden management to provide an interim hike of Rs 17.50 from 1 April 2018 onwards and clear the bonus dues by March 10.
The Morcha and the GNLF had earlier threatened to stop the dispatch of first flush tea from March 1 if the bonus was not cleared.
"Such a decision by the union goes again the spirit of the agreement and the direction of the state government and will also unnecessarily precipitate a situation in the gardens," sources revealed.