Assam: ACMS demands social security for small tea garden workers

Assam: ACMS calls for social security to small-scale tea garden workers

DIBRUGARH: Wednesday, the Assam Chah Mazdoor Sangha demanded Social Security Scheme for Unorganized Tea Workers.

Addressing a press conference at the ACMS office here, ACMS president Paban Singh Ghatowar said, “We demand a worker of a registered tea garden gets several benefits apart from his daily wage. The workers in small tea gardens don’t know the actual wage of tea garden workers. We have already held a meeting with Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma to increase the daily wage of tea workers working at small tea gardens and he has assured to increase it up to Rs 232,”.

“There are at least 1 lakh small tea gardens in Assam and a total of 5 lakh workers are working at the gardens. They are facing problems to run their family due to their low wages”, Ghatowar said.

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He said, “They are provided 32 kg rice per month at a subsidised rate of 59 paise, firewood amounting to 228 CFT per year or Rs 1,600 to Rs 1800 in cash in lieu, housing facility or house rent of Rs 300 per month, 600 grams of tea per month, yearly bonus from Rs 3,500 up to Rs 6,000, paid maternity leave of 6 months up to two children.15 days paid annual leave, 14 days sick leave, Rs 1.5 lakh to Rs 2 lakh as gratuity during retirement and provident fund of Rs 3 to 4 lakh,”.

“However the unorganised sector tea workers don’t get a single penny or benefit even after working for 25 to 30 years. Therefore it is very essential that the government should come up with social security schemes for the small tea garden workers,” he added.

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On the other hand, small tea garden owners in Assam have expressed dissatisfaction over the hike in workers’ wage.

Small tea garden owners in Assam have expressed dissatisfaction over the state government’s ‘unilateral’ decision to increase the daily wage of workers.

Recent announcement by the Assam government was made to increase the daily wage for tea garden workers, regardless of whether they are working in large or small tea gardens. It is now Rs.232