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Unions protest against Bengal tea workers' interim wage hike

Kolkata: Protesting against the hike in the daily wages of tea garden workers by Rs 17.50 in Bengal, tea workers' unions are not accepting the "interim measure", a union leader said on Monday.
The West Bengal government proposed the interim hike to increase the remuneration from Rs 132.50 to Rs 150 with effect from January 1, 2018, in the last tripartite meeting.
"We have requested to increase the minimum wage for tea garden workers in the state by Rs 17.50 effective from January 1 as an interim measure," state Labour Minister Malay Ghatak told IANS.
Usually, a wage agreement for tea workers is executed for a three-year period and the last agreement had expired on March 31, 2017.
"We are protesting against the minuscule hike in the minimum wage. The last agreement had expired on March 31 and why has it not been made effective from April 1, 2017. No decision was taken in the the minimum wages advisory committee meeting," Convenor of the Joint Forum of Trade Unions, an umbrella organisation of trade unions in the tea sector, and Citu's General Secretary (tea industry) Zia-ul-Alam told IANS.
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