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(en) bangladesh Anarcho-Syndicalist Federation BASF Call:NOT to deny fundamental rights of Tea workers
Wed, 31 Jul 2019 07:58:02 +0300
Recently, Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) has conducted a survey on
Socio-Economic conditions of Tea plantation workers in Bangladesh. The survey found that
none of the tea gardens pay double for overtime, even though this is stipulated in a
provision of labour law. ---- Despite a number of measures taken in recent years, the
living conditions of tea workers in the country is still not satisfactory, Transparency
International Bangladesh (TIB) Executive Director said on Tuesday. ---- "Tea gardens were
established during the British period and run using slave labour, and we are seeing a
change in the pattern. However, compared to other labor sectors, access to fundamental
rights is not satisfactory for tea workers," he said.
The TIB executive director made the comments at a seminar, titled "Working Environment &
Worker's Right in Tea Garden: Governance Challenges and Way Forward," held at the
organizations office in Dhaka.
"Tea workers are deprived of their fundamental rights. In this sense, we can say that they
are slaves," he said.
According to a survey conducted by TIB, a tea worker gets Tk102 as daily wages as per the
latest agreement between tea workers and garden owners. Their monthly earnings total
Tk5,231 with all allowances included, which is lower than any other sector in Bangladesh.
The survey also found that none of the gardens pay double for overtime, even though this
is stipulated in a provision of labour law.
In addition, in 28 out of 64 tea gardens do not pay temporary workers the same wages as
permanent workers. Temporary workers earn Tk50-75 when a worker is entitled Tk85.
Although tea garden owners are supposed to provide accommodations for each tea worker and
his or her family, 32,299 permanent and temporary laborers do not have a separate home to
live in, according to sources on the Bangladesh Tea Board.
Furthermore, some houses provided by owners are constructed of wood and tin, and do not
include doors, windows or fences. In 90.6 % of cases, a labourer was provided with just
one room, where he had to stay with his parents, siblings, wife, children, and cattle.
In 46 out of the 64 gardens surveyed, no latrines had been set up by the owners.
As a result of the survey, and this inhuman situation Bangladesh Anarcho-syndicalist
Fedaration-BASF recommended that the government announce a new wage structure for tea
workers, and that the wage structure be renewed every two years.
The BASF also recommended that the government ensure education, sanitation, group
insurance, gratuity, wages, a welfare fund, and drinking water for the workers.
Furthermore, BASF called for the Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishments
to carry out inspections more regularly.
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