Tea garden workers demand pay hike

Workers of seven teagardens in the Sylhet city and its outskirts on Thursday observed a strike to push for a charter of demands that include forming a separate
wage board for them and fixing Tk 300 as daily salary.
About 7,000 workers of Malni Chhara, Hilua Chhara, Tarapur, Lobha Chhara, Noapara, Kalagol and Nun Chhara teagardens under the banner of ‘Cha Shramik Sanhga’, a branch of Bangladesh Trade Union Sangha, staged separate demonstrations in the respective gardens on the day after boycotting their routine works, sources in the teagardens said.
Providing proper residential facilities and healthcare service for the workers and their families and setting up secondary level educational institutions in the garden
areas are among other demands of the teagarden workers.
Talking to New Age, Cha Shramik Sanhga Sylhet valley committee president Joy Mahatma Kurmi alleged that the leaders of two factions of the Tea Worker Union, who demanded Tk 120 and Tk 150 respectively as daily salary, were not working for the interest of the teagarden workers.
‘Actually, they are the agents of the garden owners and fighting to possess the Labour House for their own interest,’ Kurmi commented.
He said the agitated workers of seven teagardens agreed to resume working on Saturday as the garden authorities assured them of fulfilling the demands.
The assurance came from a meeting held between the teagarden managers and workers at Malni Chhara Teagarden at noon, sources in the teagarden workers said.
Tarapur Teagarden manager Ataur Rahman, Malni Chhara Teagarden manager Aminul Islam and its deputy manager Mahmud Hossain represented for the garden owners while SSS Sylhet Valley president Joy Mahtma Kurmi and general secretary Radhamoni Munda, Malni Chhara Panchyet Committee head Sakuntal Pradhan, Tarapur Tea
Garden head Sunil Mudi and its sectary Ranjan Mudi represented the workers in the meeting, sources present in the meeting said.
Being contacted, Malni Chhara Teagarden deputy manager Mamud Hossain confirmed the news of sitting with the workers representatives, but he declined to give the details of the decisions taken in the meeting.

-With New Age input

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