Bonus time: Will it cheer up tea workers?

SILCHAR, Sept 13: With the end of recession and buoyancy returning in tea estates of Barak Valley, relevant question making round is, will the workers and employees get the bonus to their expectations? Every year before the Pujas, some tea gardens are hit by resentment of the workers on bonus issue although it is mandatory for the management to pay minimum 8.33 per cent bonus. In order to preempt the possibility of any deadlock over the issue and resultant resentment and adverse reaction from the workers and their unions, the Deputy Commissioner of Cachar Harendra Kumar Dev Mahanta convened a meeting of the unions, ITA and TAI recently.
It was agreed upon that considering better plough back from tea bushes and increase in profit margin of tea estates, the management should pay three to four per cent more bonus than paid last year. The sick gardens were however given the option to settle the bonus issue in consultation with workers’ unions. It was at the same time decided that the bonus to workers and employees by tea estates should be paid by September 25.
In order to remove any misgiving in any quarters regarding the issue, the tea estates were advised to furnish their income and expenditure balance sheets to unions by September 15. Stress was laid on mutual cooperation and coordination between the managements and the unions for amicable settlement in the event of any problem cropping up. All the unions with stakes in tea estates were asked to ensure there was no breach of peace. Besides ITA secretary S Guhathakurta, CCSU president and general secretary Sanatan Misra and Dinanath Baroi respectively, Barak Valley Cha Mazdoor Sangh representative Dhiresh Das and CITU representative Chunilal Bhattacharya were also present at the meeting chaired by the Deputy Commissioner Harendra Kumar Dev Mahanta. ( The Sentinel)

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