|Ghatowar on minimum wages for tea workers|
DIBRUGARH, Nov 9 - In the wake of several organisations criticising the Assam Chah Mazdoor Sangha (ACMS) for not endorsing the draft proposal of Rs 177.19 including the cash component of Rs 143.50 of the State Government as part of the revision of the minimum rates of wages for the plantation workers, the trade union president and former DoNER Minister Paban Singh Ghatowar today said that they are not against the wage hike of workers but said that they would go by the bilateral agreement of Rs 115 till the final notification of minimum rates of wages.
Ghatowar said that they would be happy if wages were hiked but at the same time, he added that the survival of the tea industry must be kept in mind. “If due to the extreme hike in wages tea gardens run into loses and gradually close down, it will be a major problem for the tea garden working communities, he said.
ACMS general secretary Dileshwar Tanti also echoed similar view, stating that all angles of the tea industry must be considered for fixation of the wages. “It should be rational and logical,” he said.
The Assam Chah Mazdoor Sangha (ACMS) leaders also slammed Tarun Gogoi led Assam Government for failing to pay the agreed wage of Rs 115 in the government owned Assam Tea Corporation Limited (ATCL) tea estates.
Ghatowar asked why organisations were not questioning the State Government for paying meager Rs 94 as daily wage in the ATCL gardens. He said that government had recently declared the minimum wages for semi and skilled workers in different but they are not ensuring its implementation. “Issuing notification alone is not enough, it should be practically implemented,” Ghatowar said.