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3 Aug 2017

Wage protest in Calcutta... 1000 tea workers headed for Calcutta

TT, Alipurduar, Aug. 2: Over 1,000 tea workers from across north Bengal headed for Calcutta today to demonstrate in front of the Assembly tomorrow, demanding fixing and implementation of minimum wages in the industry.
The Joint Forum - an umbrella of over 20 trade unions - has for the first time planned a movement in Calcutta on the issue.
Bidyut Gun, the Alipurduar district secretary of Citu, said: "In Kerala, the state government has already finalised the minimum wage rate for tea workers but in Bengal, the government is not giving importance to it."
A trade union leader said: " A 15-member delegation will meet the Governor and state education minister Partha Chatterjee to apprise them about the demands. We also want the Centre to know about our demands."
Some other demands raised by the trade union includes monetisation of ration provided to workers, conferment of land rights to workers and violation of the Plantation Labour Act by a section of tea companies, particularly in closed and ailing tea estates.
Tea labourers in Bengal earn Rs 132.50 per day. This rate, trade union leaders feel, is too low for them to run their families.
Senior trade union leaders of the state, including state Utuc secretary Ashok Ghosh, Citu leader Anadi Sahu and Intuc state president Ramen Pandey, will attend the programme in Calcutta tomorrow.
For the past six months, tea workers in north Bengal have been organising demonstrations, strikes, rallies and public meetings on the issue but to no avail.

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