Thiruvananthapuram: Opposition leader V.S. Achuthanandan on Thursday said that the tea estate workers in Munnar should be given deserving bonus immediately.
“The government should take urgent steps to resolve the strike,” said Achuthanandan.
The ongoing siege of Munnar town by the tea estate workers entered the sixth day Thursday.
Around 7,000 tea plantation workers attached to the Kannan Devan Hills Plantations Company Private Limited ( KDHP), mostly women, are demanding a 20 per cent bonus besides an increase in their daily wages. They have blocked movement of traffic in and around Munnar town.
Tourism Minister A.P. Anil Kumar said his department was seized of the issue. "This issue was discussed in yesterday's cabinet meeting and two ministers have been asked to sort out the issues. Munnar is certainly a key destination and a hugely popular one and hence, we wish the issue be resolved at the earliest," he told IANS.
Labour Minister Shibhu Baby John held a second round of discussions with the KDHP and the trade union leaders in the capital city on Thursday without arriving at a solution.
"The issue has got other interests also as the workers appear not to listen to their trade union leaders. The KDHP gives bonus based on its profits and they gave more than the prescribed minimum bonus of 8.33 per cent. Also remember after KDHP was formed, these workers also are owners of the company. We have called for a third meeting to be held on Sunday at Kochi," said John.