Ilam, May 18: Protesting tea estate workers have agreed to return to work following Labour Minister Gokarna Bista’s assurance to address their demands. Amidst a protest launched by tea plantation workers, the minister Friday (April 17) reached Ilam to hear their concerns and assured of a wage structure as per the new labour act.
Earlier a week ago, the minister had directed tea entrepreneurs to provide reasons behind their failure to provide set wages to the workers. Although some protesting tea estate workers of Ilam and Jhapa district returned to work following an agreement reached with tea entrepreneurs, some working for Ilam Tea Garden and Kanyam Tea Garden were continuing their agitation.
The tea entrepreneurs had been denying to provide set wages stating that the workers failed to work for the given time period. All the agitating workers would report back for work from tomorrow, said Umesh Regmi, central vice chairperson of the All Nepal Tea Workers Association. “We have agreed to report back for work after minister Bista assured of set wages,” he said.
The workers have been receiving only Rs 265 to Rs 308 in salary each per day against the government’s set minimum wage structure of Rs 385. In case of tea factory workers, they are entitled to receive Rs 427 per person each day. The workers have also demanded full implementation of the Labour Act, 2074, the Labour Regulations, 2075 and the Social Security Act.