Hundreds of tea garden workers staged a protest demanding their wages in Ouphulia Tea Estate in Dibrugarh in Assam. The protestors gheraoed the manager’s office and raised slogans also.
The workers alleged that the authority of the tea estate has not paid full wages to them despite the Central government issued a direction in the matter. “Following the direction of the Central government, most of the tea estates have paid Rs 1000 to the workers as wages. But unfortunately, the Ouphulia Tea Estate has not given that to the workers.”
“They have cut the wage upto Rs 80. This is very unfortunate. We want what we deserve,” one of the protestors said. He further said that around 1400 workers including 750 permanent are engaged in the tea estate.
On May 14, the Supreme Court directed the Assam government to respond on a plea filed by “Assam Sangrami Chah Sramik Sangha” seeking payment of wages and ration supplies to the tea garden workers within 10 days.
Around 10 lakh tea garden workers have not received their wages since the lockdown was enforced to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, the petitioner stated.
Despite specific government orders were passed and demands were raised by different workers’ union in several tea gardens, workers are not being paid their wages and rations by their employers. The workers in the tea gardens are in dire circumstances and facing extreme poverty,” the plea said.
It further claimed, “The earlier reports from the tea gardens suggest many starvation deaths due to non-payment of wages. With the lockdown, this situation will further aggravate and may put many lives at stake.”
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