The general tea garden workers have rejected the Tk 25 daily wage hike fixed by the government on Saturday and vowed to continue their movement for a Tk 300 daily wage.
Around 8pm, the workers blocked the Choumuhona Chattar area at Sreemangal on the road connecting Moulvibazar with Dhaka-Sylhetand staged a rally and demonstrated against the decision to withdraw the strike.
The workers said they will continue their movement till the Prime Minister gives a proper solution to their wage issue.
Many of them refused to go back to work, defying the announcement to call off the strike that came earlier from the Tea Workers Union leaders.
Tea worker union leader Mohan Rabi Das, Organizing Secretary Bijoy Hazra were unavailable for a comment in this regard when contacted by the UNB reporter.
Earlier on Saturday afternoon, after a meeting with the Labour Department, tea workers' union leaders had withdrawn their indefinite strike after assurance of raising their wages to Tk 145 from Tk 120.
After the meeting at divisional Labour Department office at Sreemangal in Moulvibazar district on Saturday, Nipen Paul, General Secretary of Tea Workers Union, said they have withdrawn the strike after getting assurance from the Prime Minister.
"Our wages will be raised by Tk 25 and the Prime Minister has assured us that she will hold a meeting after her visit to India. In that meeting we will inform her about our demands. From Sunday all workers will resume their work in their respective gardens," he said.
The general tea garden workers however opposed their announcement immediately and demonstrated in front of the Sreemangal Labour Department office for raising their wage to Tk 300.
Md Abdus Shahid, a member of parliament from Moulvibazar-4 constituency who was present in the meeting said, "I have come here today as per the PM's instruction. The Prime Minister asked to raise the wage by Tk 25 against the tea garden owners' proposal of Tk 20 and she will hold a meeting with the workers after returning from India."
The Deputy Commissioners of Sylhet and Habiganj districts will sit in meetings with the workers' union leaders of their respective districts Saturday afternoon.
On August 9, the Bangladesh Tea Workers Union started two-hour work abstention a day demanding daily wage hike.
Workers demanded an increase of their wage to Tk300, with inflation rising and the currency depreciating. The workers of 241 tea gardens across the country went on a full-scale strike on Aug 13, after four days of two-hour work abstention.
Bangladesh is producing a record amount of tea every year through the toil of the tea workers. In 2021, a record 96 million kilograms of tea was produced in the country thanks to the hard labour of the underpaid tea workers.
Although two agreements on increasing wages were signed, the fate of more than 1.5 lakh tea workers in the country hasn't changed a bit.
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