GUWAHATI, Sept 2: A state level multi stakeholder consultation
on setting of adequate wages for the tea plantation workers in
the state of Assam was organised jointly by Labour
Department, Assam and ILO, New Delhi on Saturday under the
chairpersonship of the principal secretary labour & welfare and
in the presence of the labour commissioner, at Administrative
Staff College, Guwahati.
The meeting was graced by the presence of two eminent
resource persons from the International Labour Organisation
(ILO), Anoop Satpathy, wage specialist, ILO and Ranjit Prakash,
National project coordinator, setting adequate wages (SAW)
The principal secretary welcomed the representatives from the
government, representatives from Tea Garden Management
Associations, Tea Garden Unions and other experts. He
highlighted the commitment of the government to fix the
minimum wage in tea gardens in scientific manner and in
accordance with the International Labour Standards.
He welcomed ILO’s collaboration and technical support in fixing
the adequate wages across the state in timely manner.
ILO officials highlighted the commitment and proactive
approach of the Assam Government in ensuring adequate wage
to the workers. Prakash, the national coordinator, emphasised
that Assam is the first state in the country to move forward to
fix the minimum wage adeqauately in scientific manner and
through social dialogue as per the ILO’s labour standard, which
will become a model state for many states of the country as
well as some parts of the world.
A tripartite discussion happened on the existing wage situation
and all particpants appreciated the government’s suggestion to
fix the minimum wage adequately in the tea gardens
scientifically as per the determinants given in Labour standards,
with technical support of ILO. It was decided to have a balance
approach and fix such wages through dialogue as facilitated by
ILO. The parties agreed to proceed with the collaboration of
government of Assam and ILO as per the blueprint presented
by the ILO.
The state level consulation was preceded by the Minimum
Wages Advisory Committee, held under the chairpersonship of
the Labour commissioner, Assam, on 31/008/2023 at Shram
Bhawan, Ulubari, Guwahati, where the representatives from
ILO were also present. The roadmap along with methodology of
“setting adequate wages” for the scheduled employment was
discussed in details by the representatives of the workers,
employers and the subject matter experts, as members of the
Committee. ILO presented the preparatory activities on moving
towards evidence based wage setting in the state and all the
members appreciated the progress so far. It was agreed that
this subject being highly technical requires several rounds of
consultations before announcement of the adequate minimum
wage but should be completed in the timely manner as agreed
earliest by the committee.
This committee also agreed with the Labour department’s
proposal to widen the scope of coverage of workers by
including domestic workers under the Minimum Wage Board,
which was appreciated by all and agreed to proceed with.