Jalpaiguri: Tea garden workers in West Bengal’s Jalpaiguri and Alipurduar districts on Wednesday staged demonstrations, demanding implementation of minimum wage from January 2022.

The Joint Forum of Trade Unions in the sector called for the protests, alleging that the minimum wage issue has not been resolved and workers are losing financially.

Tea workers in north Bengal are now getting a daily wage of Rs 202 after a 15 per cent interim hike was granted in January, a trade union leader said.

Planters’ body Tea Association of India secretary general P K Bhattacharya said members of an advisory panel on minimum wages will meet on December 1 to decide on the issue.

Recently, state labour minister Becharam Manna had urged tea planters to accept the minimum wage demand.

The Joint Forum of Trade Unions convenor Ziaul Alam had alleged that finalisation of the minimum daily wage by the West Bengal government has been pending since 2014.

He said the advisory panel formed by the Trinamool Congress government to look into the issue had submitted a report in 2018, but it was kept on hold.

“We demand that the minimum daily wage be fixed at Rs 442 after taking everything into consideration,” he had said in April.

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