National Tea Wage Board for Tea Labourers
The Union Labour & Employment Minister Shri Mallikarjun Kharge has informed the Rajya Sabha that Tea Board under the Ministry of Commerce & Industry has reported that the total number of workers employed in tea plantations in India is 1.26 million out of which 1.03 million are permanent labourers.
The Plantations Labour Act, 1951 is being implemented by the respective State Governments. Since plantations fall under the category of schedule employment the rate of wages are fixed by the State Governments concerned. As such the wages vary from state to state and region to region.
The Government of India had constituted only one Wage Board for the Tea Plantation workers in the year 1960. After 1960, no Wage Board has been constituted by the Ministry of Labour & Employment.
The Second National Commission on Labour recommended that there should be no statutory or non-statutory Wage Boards as it was felt that the interest of workers can be protected by negotiations and collective bargaining because Central Wage Board for Tea Plantation Workers being a non-statutory Committee would have no binding force of law and therefore, it would be difficult to get the recommendations of such boards implemented.
The Minister was replying to a written question in the Rajya Sabha today.