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7 May 2020

India: Thousands of tea workers protest over unpaid wages during COVID-19 lockdown

Tens of thousands of tea plantation workers in India’s north-eastern state of Assam staged protests at the end of April 2020, to demand payment of wages during the Coronavirus lockdown. Workers on tea estates throughout the region say they have not received their wages, despite government guidelines that they should be paid in full during the lockdown period.

As a result of unpaid wages, tea pickers are facing increased hardship and hunger during the lockdown, say unions. Unions have also raised concerns over inadequate handwashing and hygiene facilities to protect workers against infection as tea picking has partially resumed on some tea estates.