Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina urged the owners and workers to take care that the traditional tea industry is not destroyed, saying that the owners must be careful about the workers. If the workers are good, this industry will survive. He announced that the tea workers will be housed.
During the discussion with tea workers of Sylhet and Chittagong divisions through video conference from Ganobhaban on Saturday (September 3) afternoon, the Prime Minister also said that tea workers always vote for the boat brand. A few days ago there was a movement of tea workers. I sat with the owners at that time and fixed your daily wages and other benefits. I think I met your needs there. At this time, the tea workers asked the Prime Minister for an ambulance and a doctor.
The Prime Minister said that the government is working for all low-income people including tea workers. OMS and TCB programs have been launched keeping them in mind. The government is working towards that goal so that not a single person of the country should be in trouble, addressless, homeless. He thanked the tea workers for accepting the daily wage of Tk 170. Highlighting Bangabandhu’s steps for the development of tea workers, the Prime Minister said, Bangabandhu did not nationalize the tea industry. Rather, he has given incentives in various ways, so that this industry can develop well. The father of the nation recognized the citizenship of the tea workers. They are also given voting rights. Arranged special subsidies for the development of tea industry. He ensured free accommodation, drinking water and ration.
The Prime Minister also cried along with Rita and Moni
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina wept emotionally after hearing the story of tea workers Rita Panika and Sona Moni. The tea workers also cried after hearing the words of the Prime Minister. Rita Panika greeted the Prime Minister on behalf of the tea workers when the Prime Minister was talking to the tea workers of Patrakhola Bagan in Kamalganj, Moulvibazar through video conference. He thanked the Prime Minister for increasing the wages. At this time, Rita Panika said with tears in her eyes, Prime Minister, we have always thought of you and will always think of you. We know that your father Sheikh Mujibur Rahman brought freedom to our country. We live with that freedom. We wish you never leave us like your father. At this time, the Prime Minister assured to work to solve various problems of the workers.
“We need to look at those who do the work,” he said. Medical treatment, ambulance requested. I will give an ambulance. I will make sure that no one suffers during this maternity period. I will arrange for him to get treatment quickly. We have done community clinic, but we give maternity treatment free of cost, medicine. So wherever there is a garden, I will see if there are these clinics around it. I think maternity leave should be six months. I want to arrange that too. We will see why the gratuity is not being paid.’
The Prime Minister said, ‘We are doing a lot of work for food security. There are other ways to earn money. We will see to it that not only food, but nutritious food so that not only you, but also your children can get it.’
The history of deprivation of tea workers is long. Even in 168 years, their life is bound in the circle of various crises, including not getting fair wages for labor. The tea workers went on a strike for 18 consecutive days demanding that the daily wage be increased from Tk 120 to Tk 300. Later, with the intervention of the Prime Minister, they returned to work with a wage of 170 taka. However, the tea workers want an opportunity to talk to the Prime Minister about their happiness and sorrows and demands. In view of their demands, this video conference was organized yesterday. The tea workers of Sylhet, Moulvibazar, Habiganj and Chittagong were simultaneously connected with the Prime Minister through video conference.