Tea garden workers in Sylhet began returning to work even on their weekly holiday, Sunday ending 19 days of strike after Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina stepped in to increase their daily wages to Tk 170 to 120.
The new date was announced on Saturday night after the prime minister’s meeting with the tea estate owners to discuss the workers’ demand to raise their daily pay to Tk 300.
During visits to Malinichhara and Daldoli tea gardens, this UNB correspondent found the workers upbeat and happy over the pay hike.
Many of them expressed their gratitude to PM Hasina for her intervention.
Raju Goala, president of Tea Workers Union in Sylhet Valley, said “Most of the workers joined their work while some workers stayed home for weekend holiday. They are expected to join their work from Monday.”
Nripen Pal, acting general secretary of Bangladesh Tea Workers Union, said “The tea workers have accepted the daily wages fixed by the prime minister.”
PM Hasina’s intervention in persuading the owners to hike the daily wages to Tk 170 seems to have been welcomed by the workers who started their agitation on August 8. Over 125,000 workers across 167 tea plantations across the country at one stage went on an indefinite strike to press for their demand.
Apart from this, the other facilities for the workers will be increased proportionately.