•      Fri Jun 21 2024

Jhapa tea estate workers demand hike in wages

Ilam tea garden

Birtamod, Aug 5: Workers in various tea estates of Jhapa district staged protest at Kakadvitta with a host of demand including hike in their wages and their incorporation in the social security fund.

The workers affiliated with various unions demanded employment agreement, contribution-based social security scheme and increase in the minimum wage for the labourers, according to the Agriculture and Tea Estate Workers’ Association.

Association’s central vice-chairperson Sai Kumar Rai shared the plight that the workers had not received their minimum wages for the past three years. There are over 70,000 workers involved in 132 small and 69 institutional estates in Jhapa districts.
Tea is planted across 10,000 hectares of land in the district.

Workers are entitled to at least Rs 577 per day as a wage in line with the Labour Act-2074 BS but much to the dismay of the workers, they have been receiving Rs 437 per day, informed Rai.

Considering the inflation, the protesting workers have demanded 20 per cent hike in their day wages besides facilities such as coverage for health services and pension for those working over 20 years.

“Tea workers are starving since they are not getting the wages and facilities set by the government,” rued Rai.