Friday, 7 October, 2022

Tea workers to be given home: PM

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Saturday asked owners and workers of tea estates to work together for further development of the country’s tea industry and save it from collapse, reports UNB.

“The tea industry is very important for us. Tea is a foreign exchange earning crop and so this industry must not be destroyed,” she said.

The prime minister was exchanging views with the tea garden workers of Moulvibazar, Habiganj, Sylhet and Chattogram districts through video conference from her official residence Ganabhaban.

She said that the Awami League government always works for welfare of the tea plantation workers and expansion of the tea estates.

She mentioned that the nature of work in the tea gardens are different from general workers in other sectors.

Hasina said that her government has been working for improving the living condition of tea workers since assuming office ensuring what is due to them as citizens of Bangladesh. She recalled that Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman gave them citizenship while he was the industries minister in 1954.

“For this reason I think that we have some extra responsibilities towards you. We always tried to solve your problems,” she told the workers.

The PM reminded the workers how she fixed their daily wages at Tk170 from Tk120 after a meeting with the owners. Some other facilities have also been increased to ensure a better condition for workers, she said.

She said that the government has taken measurers so that the owners treat workers with dignity and properly look after them.

The premier briefly descrubed the initiatives her government has taken for overall developments of the country. She said that the government has taken programmes to provide a home along with land to every homeless family.          She also said that the government took steps to ensure basic needs of the people including medicare facilities.

 She said that due to the Coronavirus pandemic and Russia-Ukraine war the prices of various essential items have gone up significantly.

 “The wave of that blow has reached Bangladesh too. We are trying to provide foods to the people at fair prices to help them sustain with their earnings,” she said.

Later, she gave patient hearings to the tea workers who spoke from the four districts.

The PM held the meeting with the workers a week after she fixed the new daily wages for them following their demands.

The owners also agreed to raise other benefits, including plucking bonus (benefit for plucking additional tea leaves), festival bonus, earned leave and sick leave allowances, provident fund, ration card and retirement facilities proportionately.