“It is because of Binay Tamang that the workers of the Darjeeling tea gardens received their tax,” said Mr. Tamangs and president of the Gorkhaland Territorial Association Anit Thapa. Thapa said Mr Tamang`s health had deteriorated and he was taken to Siliguri for medical surgery. Further progress in the protest was reached with the signing of an agreement between workers and tea owners, after the government concluded the introduction of a minimum wage and a contributory social security for tea workers. The government has warned Teeguts owners to pay a minimum wage to tea workers within two days and has warned against legal action. The government has stated that the non-provision of the minimum wage is illegal and that teegut owners should make a written request not to be able to pay a minimum wage to tea plantation workers despite the government`s use of the country. Then, employees of the tea sector, who provide the minimum wage, which is insured by the government and other bodies compliant with the law on labor, such as accident insurance, health insurance, holiday centers, etc. Mechpara garden market in Kalchini, waiting for bonuses. Courtesy: Sagar Bagwar There are 167 tea gardens in the country where 97,600 registered tea trees work. Tea workers lead very miserable lives because they are one of the lowest paid workers in the country and do not have adequate access to clean water, electricity or health care. Depending on the count of the 104-day bandh period as “absence,” the bonus for gardeners will be just over 4000 quests in the hills and about 8000 rus.
for workers in tea gardens in the Dooars and Terai area. Tea gardeners in the hills have been private, although Darjeeling tea yields much higher prices on the international and local market. On 30 May 2019, a Focused Group (FGD) discussion was held between journalists, representatives of tea plantation workers, SAAPE, local politicians, human rights defenders who assessed the vacuum created by political provision, the reason for the protest and the continuation of the search for a way to effectively implement labour laws and regulations for workers in the field of tea plantations. Although the agreement has been reached, the owners of the tea estate are urging the government not to be able to manage the land if they are to insure the minimum wage imposed by the government. The FGD discussed the general working conditions of tea workers on the lack of food, equipment, minimum wage, medical insurance and accident insurance. And the owners offered to pay only 60% of the minimum wage allocated by the government, but the workers immediately rejected the proposal. Wage discrimination between men and women was discussed because women did not receive the same wages. Three points were raised in the wake of the long and violent protest over policy implementation, minimum wage guarantee and central written agreement. However, not all agreements have yet to be implemented. Raju Bista, MP for the BJP, made a statement congratulating the staff of the tea garden and called for the implementation of the law on the minimum wage in tea gardens. Political leaders, the media, civil society and human rights defenders have an important role to play in defending the rights of workers in the tea plantation sector.
They acted as mediators to resolve the protests and address the problem of tea workers. In addition, they play a key role in getting all relevant authorities and agencies to comply with the provisions of the 2017 Labour Act and the Social Security Act (SSA) 2018 and to demand wage benefits provided by the government. On 14 May 2019, after the conclusion of the three-point agreement, tea products were put into service. The owners agreed to insure the minimum wage and pay 30% of the wages for the protest period.