DIBRUGARH, March 20 - As the tea industry awaits the harvest of first flush tea, influential trade union body of the tea industry– Assam Chah Mazdoor Sangha (ACMS) has sounded phase-wise agitation in the plantations in protest against the Consultative Committee of Plantation Association’s (CCPA) apathy towards the wage hike of the sub-staff and other salaried workers of the garden.
Frustrated by the indifference of the CCPA, the workers’ body in a statement today said that they are seeking to compel the industry to respond to the legitimate demands of the sub-staff and other salaried staff of the tea gardens. The previous wage agreement with the planters’ body concerning the sub-staff and other salaried staff expired on December 30, 2018 and thereafter several rounds of discussion were held with the planters’ body but they have failed to respond, said ACMS secretary Rupesh Goalla.
“The sub-staff along with other salaried workers had also staged three-day demonstration on February 10, 11 and 12 in protest against the apathy of the CCPA but still the planters’ body appears to be unyielding,” rued the trade union leader.
Goalla said that workers from each tea garden will submit memorandum to their respective management on March 25. On April 13, workers will stage one hour dharna in their garden. On April 17, a four-hour hunger strike will be organised in all tea gardens. Thereafter, the sub-staff and the salaried workers will launch non-cooperation movement from April 20 for an indefinite period, the trade union leader said.
In another press statement Lakheswar Tanti, the vice president of ACMS has urged the tea garden managements to distribute free masks and soaps or sanitisers to the workers in view of the corona virus threat and in keeping with the guidelines of the government and health organisations. Tanti said that workers can hardly afford from the wage they receive and for workers who toil from morning till the evening in the garden washing hands twice or thrice is difficult.