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17 Dec 2017

Tea wage revision cry

TT, Siliguri: Trinamul tea union leaders has said the two issues pertaining to the wages of tea workers in Bengal must be addressed ahead of the upcoming rural polls to prevent other parties from gaining political leverage by using those.

Firstly, revision of tea wage or fixation of minimum wage for workers is yet to be done, even though over eight months have passed since the expiry of the previous wage agreement. Even now, the workers are receiving wages at the old rate of Rs 132.50 per day, both in the plains and the hills.

Secondly, a demand has been raised by trade unions and even political parties like the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha that tea workers in the hills should be paid wages for the 104-day shutdown.

"The state should work on these demands on a priority basis and ensure that both issues are resolved ahead of the rural polls. Otherwise, our political contenders will pick up the issues and will try to swing votes in their favour," said a trade union leader of Trinamul who is based in the Dooars.

In tea estates, wages and other benefits of tea workers have always emerged as a prominent issue during panchayat elections.

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