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Tea workers withdraw strike after wage raised by Tk 25

Female tea workers anxiously waiting for the outcome of meeting among the government, owners of tea gardens and their leaders outside the Divisional Labour Office in Sreemongol on Saturday (August 20, 2022).

Moulvibazar Correspondent : Leaders of tea workers have declared withdrawal of strike receiving assurance of Tk 145 as daily wage at a meeting with the Department of Labour and the government.

However, general workers disagreed with the new wage.

Following a meeting at the Divisional Labour Office at Sreemongol in Moulvibazar district on Saturday afternoon, Tea Workers Union’s acting general secretary Nripen Pal said, “We are withdrawing our strike at the assurance of the prime minister. Our wage has been fixed at Tk 145 raising by Tk 25. Besides, the prime minister will sit with us after visiting India. So, we are withdrawing our strike for the time being at her assurance.”

Md Abdus Shahid MP of Moulvibazar-4 constituency chaired the meeting with leaders of tea workers at Divisional Labour Office in Sreemongol on Saturday.

Nripen Pal also said all the tea workers would join their respective work from Sunday.

Meanwhile, general workers started demonstrating at the Divisional Labour Office premises following such a decision of the leaders.

They started chanting slogans demanding daily wage of Tk 300. They also pledged to continue their strike until their demands are met.

At that time, general workers expressed strong resentment against the association leaders.

A worker named Anjan Goala said, “We demanded the daily wage of Tk 300. How will we withdraw our strike if our wage is raised by Tk 25 only? How will we meet expenses of our families by Tk 145 only when the prices of all the essentials have skyrocketed?”

“The leaders may compromise with the government, but we will not compromise in any way. We will continue our strike,” he said.

Md Abdus Shahid MP of Moulvibazar-4 constituency was present at the meeting with tea workers.

He said, “The prime minister is very sincere to tea workers. I have come here mainly at her directive. The tea garden owners wanted to raise the wage by Tk 20 a day, but the prime minister has directed to raise the wage by Tk 5 more.”

Abdus Shahid MP said the prime minister would sit with the tea workers after her visit to India.

Nahidul Islam, deputy director of the Divisional Labour Office at Sreemongol, said the tea workers have withdrawn their strike. They would join their work from tomorrow (Sunday).

Meanwhile, the deputy commissioners (DCs) concerned were scheduled to sit with tea workers leaders of Sylhet and Habiganj on Saturday afternoon.

It may be mentioned that workers at all tea gardens of the country launched strike from Saturday last demanding the daily wage of Tk 300.