Tea Garden Workers
New Delhi: The working conditions of tea garden workers in the country are governed by the Plantation Labour Act (PLA), 1951, administered by the Ministry of Labour & Employment and enforced by the concerned state governments, which, inter alia, provide for basic welfare services and amenities namely housing, medical and primary education, water supply and sanitation.
The Tea Board also extends certain welfare measures for the tea workers and their wards/dependents, which are supplemental in nature. The labour welfare measures are undertaken within the ambit of the Human Resource Development (HRD) component under the Tea Development & Promotion Scheme. The Tea Board has disbursed a sum of Rs.17.76 Crores in the last 4 years (2015-16 to 2018-19) and the current year (upto 30.06.2019-provisional) under the HRD component for the benefit of workers and their wards/dependents.
The workers of the tea industry are also covered by various industrial and social security legislations like the Employees’ Compensation Act, 1923, the Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972, the Provident Funds & Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952, (Assam Tea Plantation Provident Fund, the Pension Fund and Deposit Link Insurance Fund Scheme Act 1955 – only for Assam), the Payment of Bonus Act, 1965, the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961, the Payment of Wages Act, 1936, the Equal Remuneration Act, 1976, the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 and the Industrial Employment (Standing Order) Act, 1946.
The fixation of minimum wages for tea garden workers falls under the purview of State Governments as per the provision under the Minimum Wages Act, 1948. The wages of tea garden workers are fixed as per the agreement reached between producer associations and workers unions.
This information was given by the Minister of State in the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Hardeep Singh Puri in a written reply in the Lok Sabha yesterday.