Tea garden workers on strike over moneyAugust 11th, 2008 - 9:55 pm ICT by IANS
Kolkata, Aug 11 (IANS) Tea garden workers in West Bengal went on a strike Monday demanding a hike of Rs.42 in their daily wages. The strike was called by the Coordination Committee of Plantation Workers (CCPW), which is an umbrella organisation of 17 labour unions.
“We went on a token strike to protest against the rigid attitude of the management (tea garden owners). They are not ready to revise the current wages of the workers. If they don’t listen to our demand we will go on a strike from Aug 18,” said Aloke Chakraborty, joint general secretary of the National Union of Plantation Workers.
The National Union of Plantation Workers is one of the constituents of CCPW.
Chakraborty said: “We had put forward a demand to raise the daily wages of the tea garden workers by Rs.42. But the management is extremely rigid. They are ready for a hike of only Rs.11.10.”
At present, the tea workers get Rs.53.90 a day. If the union demands are met, a daily wager would get approximately Rs.124 per day.
“To ease the negotiation process we even said that a hike of Rs.15 per day would suffice but the management is not ready to listen to that also,” Chakraborty said. “We did not want to go for the strike but the management compelled us.”
However, tea garden owners have a different viewpoint. Aditya Khaitan, chairman of Indian Tea Association (ITA) and managing director of McLeod Russel, said: “The cost of production is going up in the region while the sales are dropping. The demand for wage revision has to be practical.”
Exports of Darjeeling tea were expected to rise by 20-25 percent over last year’s six million kilograms. Now the industry is staring at substantial losses - hit by the statehood unrest in the hills and the strike for higher wages.
Tea from Darjeeling accounts for seven percent of India’s tea exports and the 350 gardens in the region employ a workforce of nearly 350,000.
- Gorkha union lifts embargo on Darjeeling tea export - Mar 30, 2011
- Gorkha Janmukti Morcha continues tea export ban - Mar 22, 2011
- West Bengal tea workers demand hike in wages - Jun 07, 2010
- Tea gardens strike in West Bengal deferred - Aug 18, 2008
- Darjeeling Dooars, Terai tea gardens to lose over Rs.220 crore - Aug 11, 2011
- West Bengal tea garden workers get wage hike - Aug 23, 2008
- Duncan not to hike tea prices: Goenka - Dec 20, 2011
- Love your morning cuppa? Get ready to pay more - Feb 09, 2012
- Darjeeling tea workers on strike over wage increase - Aug 12, 2008
- Coal India terms workers' strike for bonus illegal - Sep 24, 2011
- Former tea garden owners are Tripura's new entrepreneurs - Jul 11, 2010
- Striking Comstar Automotive workers plan fast - Aug 19, 2011
- Impoverished kids forced to work in Siliguri tea-estates - Mar 05, 2010
- Strike hits Coal India mines in Orissa - Oct 10, 2011
- Gulf turmoil hit Indian tea exports - Nov 13, 2011
Tags: coordination committee, general secretary, indian tea, kilograms, labour unions, mcleod russel, negotiation process, plantation workers, rs 42, statehood, substantial losses, tea association, tea exports, tea garden, token strike, umbrella organisation, union demands, wage revision, wager, west bengal