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Interim wage hike for tea garden workers of Bengal

Darjeeling: Tea trade unions have hailed the decision of an interim 15 per cent wage hike of the daily wage workers, staff and sub staff of the tea industry of the State. The decision that will affect 3 lakh workers and around 10,000 staff and sub staff of the tea industry was taken at a tripartite meeting in Siliguri convened by the Labour Minister Moloy Ghatak.

The memorandum of the third of the series of meetings between the Management Association, trade union and the Government of West Bengal on Wednesday, stated: "It has been agreed by trade unions as well as representatives of the CCPA and other employers' Associations related to the tea industry in West Bengal that the daily rated workmen is enhanced @15% on the wages as on 31-12-2020 i.e from Rs. 176/- to Rs. 202/- per day."

The memorandum goes on to state that the salary of the staff and sub staff has also be enhanced @15% on the gross salary per month as on 31-12-2020. "Such enhancement of wages and salary would be effective from 01.01.2021 and shall be treated as an interim relief till settlement of Charter of Demands" concluded the memorandum signed by the Additional Labour Commissioner, North Bengal Zone.

"Our Government led by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has always been concerned about the tea industry workers. Recently she had launched Chai Sundari, in which houses are being built for tea garden workers. Once the model code of conduct for the forthcoming Assembly elections is in place no hike can be implemented. Hence keeping the need of the workers as a priority the interim hike has been worked out to bring immediate relief" stated Minister Moloy Ghatak.

Trade unions have hailed the decision for the interim hike. "It will bring a very big relief for the workers. The Chief Minister along with the Tea Directorate constituted by the State Government have been constantly working for the benefit of the tea garden workers" stated NB Khawas, Spokesperson, TMC.

"Talks for the final revision of salaries of staff, sub-staff along with minimum wages will also continue. We welcome the decision of the interim wage hike," stated Saman Pathak, Secretary, CITU, Darjeeling district.

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