Nepal: Minister promises minimum wage to tea workers

Author: Bhim Chapagain, My Republica, Nepal, Published on: 2 June 2019

"Labor and employment minister promises minimum wage to tea laborers in Ilam", 18 May, 2019

Minister for Labor, Employment, and Social Security…assured tea laborers that they will be paid the minimum wage…after almost one and a half months of protests by the laborers at Ilam’s tea farms and factories demanding the minimum wages that the government had endorsed in July last year. 

The minister…made the promise to the laborers of government-owned farms leased out to Triveni Shanghai Group, which has remained idle and had denied to give payments to the laborers. 

 Few days ago, [minister] had directed all the tea farms and factories to either pay the minimum wages to the laborers or apply to the government to shut down their farms.

Almost all tea farms and factories, including the government-owned and privately-owned, of Jhapa complied with the minister’s direction except for Triveni Shanghai Group. But after the minister’s visit on Friday, chairman of the group…agreed to pay the accumulated minimum wages from mid-July last year.

…The ministry has also discussed with industrialists and listened to their problems as well. “The government is also ready to address the problems faced by the tea factories,” he said. 
All tea farms in Ilam and Jhapa have been shut down since the first week of April due to laborers’ protests. 

The government has fixed the minimum wage at Rs 385 and 427 per day for tea laborers. The laborers at tea farms and factories in Jhapa were paid only Rs 278, while those in Ilam were paid only Rs 265 before the government decision.

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Related companies: Nepal Tea Development Corporation Ltd (NTDC) (Triveni Group)