DIBRUGARH, Feb 3 - The All Adivasi Students’ Association of Assam (AASAA) has welcomed the increase in wages of tea garden workers to Rs 177 in the Assam Government owned Assam Tea Corporation Limited (ATCL) gardens from February 1, 2016. However, the students’ body has said that their demand for raise in the daily wage of a tea garden worker to Rs 330 would continue.
The Adivasi students’ body in a statement said that the socio-economic condition of the tea estate dependents in the ATCL gardens was the worst among all due to low wages. The hike in the wages would certainly enhance the living conditions of the working communities to some extent, the organisation expressed hope. “We welcome and appreciate the daily wage hike in Assam Tea Corporation Limited Gardens to Rs 177, as declared by Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on February 1, 2016. This is an important step towards ensuring that the tea workers receive their minimum wage as protected by the Indian Constitution, the Minimum Wages Act and the Plantation Labour Act,” advocate Joseph Minj, general secretary of AASAA said.
The students’ body has also demanded that workers in all tea gardens of Assam should receive similar wage of Rs 177 for the same nature of work.
AASAA has called upon the government to exert pressure on the rest of the tea companies to pay the legal minimum wage to its workers. For generations tea garden workers have been working in inhumane conditions and in violation of human rights. AASAA will be monitoring the implementation of the increased wage, AASAA leader Joseph Minj said.
It may be recalled that the Adivasi students’ body had organised demonstrations, rallies and various forms of campaign State-wide to press for increase in daily wages of workers to Rs 330 or monthly salary of Rs 10,000.