Wage pattern and livelihood of Tea garden laborer : a study on Loobacherra Tea Estate, Kanaighat, Sylhet, Bangladesh
AuthorHossain, SM. Sohrab
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Tea is the most important item to earn foreign currency. Bangladesh covers 2% of world tea production which earn US$25000000 every year. In Bangladesh there are 163 tea gardens. Most of the tea gardens are in greater Sylhet. In tea garden human rights of the tea laborer are being violating every day. In Bangladesh wage pattern of laborers in other sector is more or less satisfactory. The objectives of the study was to examine the social state including wage pattern , education, health, housing, family planning activities & sanitation of the tea garden laborers as well as to understand the economic conditions – livelihood pattern, income of the tea garden laborers. Both qualitative and quantitative method was used to conduct the research. Before data collection we discussed with management and tea laborer union about their wage pattern and livelihood. The study was conducted with the help of structured questionnaire. Mixed methodology was followed in our study. In this study 78.99% of total laborers of the research garden were interviewed. Key findings are as follows: Length of service of 50.8% respondents is above 41years. 26.60% respondents are of 3-4 years. But wages are same at all age level. 36.9% respondent are illiterate, 13.5% have primary edycation. 49.6% respondents are only literate(able to put their signature or write their name). Family member’s profession of 96% of total respondents is day laborer. Laborers in tea garden are not satisfied with the wages they are getting. In Bangladesh minimum wage(monthly) in oil mill is BDT7420, re-rolling mill BDT6100, foundry BDT5100, ship breaking BDT4645, ayurvedic unit BDT4320, pharmaceuticles BDT3645, RMG BDT3000 though in a ‘A’ category tea garden monthly wage rate of permanent laborer is BDT1656, in ‘B’ category, BDT1608 and C category BDT1584. So wage of the tea laborer are minimum or below the mark throughout the country as well as abroad. Perhaps these wages rate is the lowest in the world. The study found that tea laborers are getting barren paddy land as ration with which they are not satisfied at all. 98.40% respondents are dissatisfied with weekly ration. 90% respondents are dissatisfied with weekly wages. Only 9.10% are agreed with the existing wages to some extent. 93.60% are dissatisfied with sanitation facilities, 90.90% are not satisfied with scope for children education, 68.70% are are dissatisfied with job security, 63.90% are not satisfied with employer attitude, 92.80% are dissatisfied with job, 99.20% are dissatisfied with family planning activities, 99.60% are dissatisfied with housing facilities. 90.10 % are dissatisfied with medical facilities. They are using unhygienic drinking water. So human rights are being violating in the tea garden by the employers. Labour law of Bangladesh is being violated. Since laborers are not satisfied with wages including fringe benefit, they are not attentive in increasing productivity which hampers the country’s economic growth. It can be improved the scenario of wage pattern and livelihood of tea garden laborer by taking into account the mentioned recommendation of the study by the policy makers. Appropriate implementation of the mentioned recommendation can improve the human rights of tea laborer as well as economic growth of this country.