Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Ministry of Commerce & Industry
21-December-2011 15:36 IST
Condition of Tea Plantation Workers
Workers on short term contract are engaged in almost all sectors of the economy producing goods and services. The report of Netherlands based Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations on workers in tea plantations in Assam and Tamil Nadu has been put on the website of the Centre.

Statutory safeguards are provided to workers in plantations in India. Under the Plantation Labour Act, 1951, it is mandatory for plantations with tea area of 5 hectares or more and employing 15 or more persons to provide housing, drinking water, sanitation, medical and education facilities, etc. to the tea garden labourers. The Act also provides for safeguards such as limitations by way of maximum hours work in a week, provision of weekly holidays, prohibiting night work for women and children, certification of fitness, annual leave with wages, wages during leave period, sickness and maternity benefits, etc.

Besides the Plantation Labour Act, 1951, the service conditions of workers in the tea industry are also protected through various industrial and social security legislations such as Workmen’s Compensation Act, Payment of Gratuity Act, Provident Fund & Miscellaneous Provisions Act, Assam Tea Plantation Provident Fund, Pension Fund and Deposit Link Insurance Fund Scheme Act, 1955 – only for Assam, Payment of Bonus Act, Maternity Benefit Act, Payment of Wages Act, Equal Remuneration Act, Industrial Disputes Act, Factories Act and the Industrial Employment (Standing Order) Act, 1946.

A Modified Personal Accident Insurance Scheme has been notified in December, 2008 for the benefit of the plantation workers, including tea.

While the tea plantation owners are primarily entrusted with the welfare of the workers, the Tea Board supplements the efforts through the Human Resource Development Scheme under which assistance is provided for various labour welfare measures like capital grant to hospitals/clinics/health centres etc. for construction/extension of buildings in tea areas including purchase of ambulance/medical equipments, drinking water & sanitation, educational stipend/scholarship for wards of workers, book and school uniform grants, capital grant to schools/colleges for construction/extension of buildings etc.

This information was given by Shri Jyotiraditya M. Scindia Minister of State for Commerce and Industry in written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha today.