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21 Dec 2022

Bangladesh: Sylhet tea workers demand dues

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"Sylhet tea workers demand dues", December 21 2022

Tea workers in Sylhet brought out a torch procession to press home their three-point demand, including payment of their dues, at Malinichara Tea Estate on Tuesday.

The workers under the banner of ‘Tea Garden Education Rights Implementation Council’ brought out the procession from Malinichara Tea Estate and paraded Lakakkatura, Choukidekhi and ended at Rest Camp at about 5:30pm.

Organiser Adhir Baurir, chief organiser Sanjay Kanta Das expressed solidarity with the workers and spoke during the procession.

Speakers from the procession said that as per the rules, a bilateral deal was scheduled to be held per two years for raising the wages and other facilities of the workers but no deal had been signed yet in 2021-22.

The Tea Estate Owners did not pay any heed to the demand of the workers, they said.

The daily wage for the tea estate workers has been raised to Tk 170 from Tk 120 after a 19-day movement in August, but the owners did not provide their extended arrears for the last 19 months.

They demanded payment of their dues immediately.

The tea workers also threatened to go for another movement if their demands were unheeded and the owners and government would be held responsible for that.

The workers also demanded Tk 500 wage daily and 5 kgs of ration. They also demanded that the government provide an education stipend and educational materials to their children free of cost.

The workers at the country’s 167 tea plantations went on a strike in August last to press for increasing their daily pay to Tk 300, given the recent price hike of the essential commodities.