Tea workers’ strike continues as no agreement in labour dept’s meeting
The Department of Labour organised a tripartite meeting between owners of tea gardens and tea workers' leaders yesterday. However, workers' strike continued this morning as no agreement was reached regarding their demand for an increased minimum wage.
The meeting was held at the office of the Department of Labour in Dhaka around 6:30 pm on Wednesday. The leaders of Bangladesh Tea Association, an organisation of tea garden owners, and Bangladesh Tea Workers' Union, an organisation of tea workers, took part in the meeting that ended around midnight.
Director general of the Department of Labour, Khaled Mamun Chowdhury, president of seven valleys of Bangladesh Tea Workers' Union and executive advisor of the organisation Rambhajan Kairi, its vice-president Pankaj Kand, acting general secretary Nipen Pal and leaders of Bangladesh Tea Association were present in the meeting.
Nipen Pal, central general secretary (acting) of Bangladesh Tea Workers' Union, told The Daily Star, "We have put forth our demands to the owners and the government. The owners have proposed to increase the daily wage to Tk 140. We didn't accept that. Tea workers from all over the country are looking at us. We will not compromise if we do not get the proper wage. Our movement continues. We will announce an extended programme today."
On the other hand, Shah Alam, president of Bangladesh Tea Association, said, "We held discussions with the tea workers' leaders. Hopefully by today we will be able to give update on wages."
Khaled Mamun Chowdhury, director general of the Department of Labour, said, "Our discussions continue. We have asked the workers to call off the strike. Today or tomorrow they will let us know their decision."
Meanwhile, a general diary was filed with Sreemangal
Police Station on behalf of four tea gardens, alleging that raw tea leaves are being wasted due to the workers' strike.
Humayun Kabir, inspector (investigation) of the police station said, "The assistant managers of Rajghat, Dinston, Amrail Chhara and Balishira tea gardens filed separate GDs last night. The allegations will be investigated."