Pay hike for tea workers

The near 30,000 tea industry sub-staffs in north Bengal have got a salary hike with effect from 1 April this year. The development comes in the wake of a tripartite agreement inked between the employee unions, the planters’ bodies and the state government in Kolkata on 26 November.
According to the Intuc leader, Mr Aloke Chakrovorty, who attended the two-day long tripartite negotiation as one of the employee representatives, the average hike in the basic salary is calculated at around Rs 300.
“Along with the DA, VDA and other allowances, the hike per sub-staff is around Rs 500,” he said. As per the revised salary structure, a Grade-I tea industry sub-staff will now be paid in the scale of Rs 1530-22-1750-29-2185, Grade-II would get Rs 1490-21-1700-25-2075 and those in Grade - III, would fetch Rs 1440-20-20-1640-24-2000. As decided, the new salary structure would put into retrospective effect from 1 April 2008 and the same would be in place for the next three years. “The employers would pay arrears to the concerned staffs in two equal installments on or before 25 December this year and 31 March 2009, respectively,” informed Mr Chakvorty.
As per the previous tripartite agreement vis-à-vis the sub-staffs’ pay signed on 25 July 2005, the employees had got a basic salary hike of Rs 181. The two-day long tripartite negotiation meeting culminated into the new agreement