Tea workers want PM's intervention as owners propose Tk 20 wage hike

Thursday, 18 August 2022

The workers of 167 tea gardens across the country, including 92 of Moulvibazar, continued their strike on Thursday as the garden owners proposed a daily wage hike by only Tk 20 against the demand of an increase to Tk 300 from Tk 120.

The owners offered to increase wage from Tk 120 to Tk 140 at a meeting with tea workers at the Dhaka office of the Labour Department on Wednesday night, reports UNB.

Bijoy Hazra, organising secretary of Bangladesh Tea Workers Union, said it is not possible to meet the expenses of their family with the wages they proposed. “So we want the intervention of the Prime Minister.”

A tripartite meeting will be held in Dhaka on August 23 led by the Labour and Employment Minister.

On August 9, the Bangladesh Tea Workers Union started two-hour work abstention a day demanding daily wage hike.

Workers demanded an increase to Tk300 a day, with inflation rising and the currency depreciating and they started a full-scale strike on Saturday, after four days of two-hour work abstention.

Bangladesh is producing a record amount of tea every year through the toil of the tea workers. In 2021, a record 96 million kilograms of tea was produced in the country thanks to the hard labour of the underpaid tea workers.

Although two agreements on increasing wages were signed, the fate of more than 0.15 million tea workers in the country hasn’t changed a bit.