GJM labour union stops shipping of tea outside Darjeeling
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Last Updated: Sunday, March 06, 2011, 18:31
Darjeeling: GJM Plantation Labour Union has stopped shipment of tea outside Darjeeling to press for hike in wages of tea labourers.

Secretary of Darjeeling Tea Planters Association Sandip Mukherjee said that meetings were held between the planters and the GJM Labour Union to restart the shipping but no solution was found.

The agitation, he said, if continued would cause a loss of Rs 300 crore to the industry at a time when first flush tea was being shipped out.

Meanwhile, GJM Labour Union president PT Sherpa said the Minimum Wages Act, 1948 was not implemented in the gardens of Darjeeling district till date though there is a wage revision every three years.

At present the tea workers are paid as per the Plantation Act which mandates Rs 67 per day to each labourer.

The Act has not been implemented in the tea gardens as there was no consensus among the various associations related to the tea industry and the labour union, he said.

The minimum wages for the tea labourers are scheduled to be revised on March 31 and the union has demanded a wage hike from Rs 67 to Rs 120 to Rs 150.

According to the Minimum Wages Act, a non skilled worker should be paid Rs 120, a semi skilled worker Rs 140 and a skilled worker Rs 154.

About 80 per cent of the tea workers in Darjeeling are temporary workers.

There are over 80 tea gardens in Darjeeling and Kurseong sub-divisions of the district and cover 20,000 hectares and employ 39,800 people.


First Published: Sunday, March 06, 2011, 18:31

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