The Assam Chah Mazdoor Sangha has asked the tea groups to announce their puja bonus quantum and disperse it three weeks ahead of the Durga Puja celebration.
The tea body asked the tea gardens to pay the maximum 20% bonus to the plantation workers. Last month the ACMS had written to tea bodies like ABITA, ATPA, TAI, BCP and NETA to ensure maximum bonus for workers.
Under the Payment of Bonus Act, 1965, the minimum bonus for tea garden workers is 8.33% while the maximum rate has been fixed at 20%.
“We request you to declare the quantum of Bonus and pay the same latest by 3 weeks ahead of “Durga Puja” 2021. It is our expectation that all Gardens would declare and pay maximum quantum of Bonus for the accounting year concerned at one go to meet the hopes and aspirations of the workers. As the workers feel more comfortable in getting cash payments instead of cheques on the eve of Puja, we expect that the management will consider this aspect as per possible and practicable,” ACMS general secretary Rupesh Gowala said.
Meanwhile, MK Shah Exports and Rossel India Limited have signed an agreement to give a 20 % bonus to the tea workers before the Durga puja.
“We have asked the major tea companies to give a maximum bonus to tea workers before Durga puja because Durga puja is largely celebrated among the tea workers and they expect to get the maximum bonus before the festival starts. Like every year, we have asked them to give the bonus before 20 days of puja,” ACMS vice president Nabin Chandra Keot said.
Assam, which accounts for 49% of the country’s total tea production, has 803 registered tea gardens.
In 2020, all major tea houses like Andrew Yule, James Warren, Rossel India Limited, Goodricke, MK Shah Exports had paid the maximum bonus.