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Moulvibazar tea workers observe work abstention demanding pay hike

  • Published at 11:38 am October 7th, 2020
Tea workers observe work abstention demanding a hike in wages and bonus for Durga Puja in Moulvibazar on Wednesday, October 7, 2020 Dhaka Tribune

Tea gardens across the district on Wednesday observed the work abstention from 8am till 10am

Workers of 23 tea gardens in Manu-Dhalai Valley region of Kamalganj upazila in Moulvibazar observed a two-hour work abstention, demanding a hike in wages and bonus ahead of Durga Puja.

Tea gardens across the district on Wednesday observed the work abstention from 8am till 10am.

Meanwhile, as part of the ongoing protest, workers of 14 tea gardens in Sreemangal upazila of the district also observed the two-hour work abstention for the second consecutive day.

Rambhajan Kairi, general secretary of Bangladesh Tea Workers Union, said it is very difficult for workers to run their families with the current daily wage of Tk102.

They are not able to bear the education cost of their children and while prices of commodities have risen, their wages have not increased accordingly, he said.

"A demand for a hike in daily wages was placed at a meeting with the tea garden owners. More than a year has passed, but workers are still receiving the Tk102 per day," he added.

"We demand the implementation of a new wage structure for tea workers immediately," he said.

Tahsin Ahmed Chowdhury, CEO of Finlay Tea, said that the government has formed a wage board to fix tea workers' wages. The board sat in five meetings since last December but no meetings were held past March this year due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

"Like every other industry, the tea industry also suffered a massive downfall in revenue. Our last year’s production still remains unsold," he said.

"Since the government is still in process of drawing up the final draft of the wage board, the sudden strike of the workers is unreasonable," he added.

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