Unhappy tea workers return to work
Nineteen days after they started a demonstration demanding daily wage of Tk 300, tea garden workers have joined work today (August 28, 2022) for daily wage of Tk 170.
According to the tea workers, they are unhappy with the daily wage raise of only Tk 50. They have been facing food shortage at home, and joined work today.
This correspondent visited Bharaura Tea Garden, Bhurbhuria Tea Garden, Khaichhara Tea Garden and Jerin Tea Garden in Sreemangal upazila of Moulvibazar and saw tea workers at work.
Sukhia Ghatual, a tea worker, said there is no food at home. "I only had rice most of the nights. I didn't get rations… I often couldn't buy medicine for my father. So, I returned to work as I had no option."
Sadhana Bauri said, "The prime minister asked (us) to return to work, so I joined work. But nothing can be done with this wage."
Ranajit Rabi Das, vice president of Tea Workers' Children and University Students' Sangsad, said, "It is impossible to sustain oneself with this daily wage of Tk 170."
Jyotirmoy Kanu, former president of the University Tea Students' Union, said that the prime minister should reconsider this issue. "Even after half a century of independence, people cannot and should not be oppressed, neglected in such a way; especially the people who have been making an incredible contribution to the country's economy for ages," he said.
Raju Goyala, president of Tea Workers' Union Sylhet Valley, said that nine of the 23 tea gardens in Sylhet are operational today. Workers of the gardens that are closed will return to work on Monday.
"With the intervention of the prime minister, the standstill situation in the tea gardens have ended," he added.