Assam, March 13: The Assam Tea Tribe’s Students’ Association has called for a complete shutdown of all tea gardens in Brahmaputra and Barak valley on March 22, against the government’s alleged negligence towards the tea workers in the state.
This comes weeks after the BJP-led Assam government decided to hike the daily wage of tea garden workers in the state by Rs 50.
While speaking to the media, ATTSA President Dhiraj Gowala said, “Government has failed to address the problems of tea workers in the state. It promised to pay Rs 351 as a daily wage before coming to power but never fulfilled that promise. With elections around the corner now, they gave us a lollipop and increased our wages by Rs 50. So, now it is Rs 217.“
Alleging that so much money is just being spent on advertising for elections, Gowala said, “We are not beggars, we are asking for what we rightly deserve.”
On February 21, the Assam cabinet, chaired by Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, approved a proposal to increase the daily wage of tea garden workers to Rs 217, a hike from Rs 167.
Assam Transport Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary said the decision of shutdown was taken by the Assam cabinet after talks between tea gardens owner, workers’ union and the sub-committee of the state government.
Recently, in a public meeting held in Sivasagar on February 4, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said his party will give Rs 365 to every tea garden workers of the state as a daily wage if they come to power.
On February 6, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman distributed financial assistance of Rs 3,000 each to around 8 lakh tea garden workers.