TANTEA lays off 700 temporary workers in Coimbatore citing fund crunch

Gudalur MLA Pon Jayaseelan of the AIADMK urged the government to reinstate all the workers and secure their livelihood.

Published: 06th July 2022 03:57 AM  |   Last Updated: 06th July 2022 04:23 AM   |  A+A-

tea estates, tea gardens

Image used for representational purpose.

Express News Service

COIMBATORE: Plantation workers are up in arms as TANTEA has started laying off labourers citing financial crunch. According to sources, in the last two months, TANTEA laid off more than 700 temporary workers who were engaged in Cherangode, Nelliyalam, Pandiyar and Cherambadi.

Rendered jobless all of a sudden, the families are in the doldrums. A Parimalam, resident of Nelliayalam field number 2, said she was with TANTEA since 2011, earning Rs 4,000 -5,000 as wages in a month. Her world crashed as found herself out of job and is unable to find one so far.

Gudalur MLA Pon Jayaseelan of the AIADMK urged the government to reinstate all the workers and secure their livelihood.

"Tea cultivation gets affected during summer as there is very less rain and some temporary workers may not be given jobs. However, in the last few months, the tea fields have been receiving good rains and this is a good time for cultivation and workers would be need to pluck tender leaves. But TANTEA has sacked more than 700 temporary workers citing financial crisis. This is unacceptable. This shows TANTEA administration has collapsed and the state government should look into the issue."

Jayaseelan added that besides sacking workers, TANTEA has been abandoning tea plantations which give good yield. "We can accept if plantations deep oside forest areas are abandoned. But TANTEA officials are abandoning lush fields located in Cherampadi and Nelliyalam etc. These fields should be maintained since it is difficult to get back the land next year if tea prices shoot up," he said.

A Mohammed Gani, secretary AITUC Plantation labourers association of Nilgiris district said TANTEA sacked workers who are set to become permanent employees soon. T.V Manjunatha, managing director of TANTEA confirmed that the corporation is reeling under severe financial crisis and was unable to pay its staff. He explained that the corporation is incurring loss of Rs 1.5 - 2 crore every month.

"To pay permanent workers, we require Rs 2.9  crore and Rs 70 lakh for EPF contribution. As on date only 40 per cent of the workers received salary. This is why we decided to terminate services of temporary workers. The State government is taking steps to revive the corporation," he added.



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