Bokakhat: Tea garden workers of Bokakhat district in Assam staged a protest against Chah Mazdoor Sangha’s decision to keep gardens open despite Assam government’s declaration as a holiday.
A verbal altercation broke out between members of the Assam Tea Tribes Students Association and tea garden managers. Members of the Assam Tea Tribes Students Association alleged that tea garden workers were asked to work despite Tuesday being declared a holiday. The members also accused the Assam Chah Mazdoor Sangha, the union organising labourers in Assam tea gardens working as a mouthpiece of the government rather than taking the issues of the tea garden workers to the high tables.
The protest came after the Assam government declared a ‘garden’ holiday on Tuesday in the tea gardens of the state on the occasion of Karam Puja of the tea tribes and Adivasis on Tuesday. But instead of the holiday, the garden workers will work on any other holiday or weekly day of rest, which will be decided by the respective tea garden management, the order stated. Meanwhile, the Golaghat district tea garden authorities decided to keep the garden open after being requested by the Chah Mazdoor Sangha.
“We welcome the government’s decision to declare a holiday on the occasion of Karam Puja. But after discussing it with fellow citizens, we decided that it should be a paid holiday. If the government had discussed the matter with the various central committee bodies, why could they not pay our wages?” said the tea garden worker.
“We had issued a holiday notice as per the government’s announcement but the Chah Mazdoor Sangha requested us to observe the holiday on a different day. That is why we opened the tea garden,” said the tea garden authorities.
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