Mohan Rabidas wants to be a leader, not to realize the rights of workers
M. Muslim Chowdhury, Srimangal/ Moulvibazar/ Representative/
After meeting at Srimangal Kalighat tea garden in Moulvibazar, Mohan Rabidas, who has continued the agitation for the rights of tea workers, announced himself as the convenor of Tea Workers’ Rights Council in the face of objections from various leaders. Meanwhile, in his announcement, the leaders of the Bangladesh Tea Workers’ Union said that Mohan’s intention to become a leader is not for the rights of tea workers.
After 12 pm on Wednesday, Mohan Ravidas went live on his Facebook page and invited all the panchayat chiefs to attend the meeting at Kalighat tea garden at 11 am on Thursday and said to hold a press briefing after the meeting at 4 pm. However, no invitation to this press briefing or meeting was officially communicated to Moulvibazar or Srimangal Press Club.
He concluded the meeting on Thursday from 11 am to 3:30 pm. Around 4:30 PM, Mohan Ravidas along with some other tea workers came to the press conference. At that time, the reporter and Prothom Alo Srimangal representative were present among the media workers.
In the press briefing, Mohan Ravidas said, since the Minister of Forest and Environment has said that a decision will come from the Prime Minister’s office by Saturday, we will announce the new program by Saturday. However, our strike and agitation will continue.
At this time, Kalighat tea garden panchayat committee president Aban Tanti, labor leaders Gopal Rajbhar and Mintu Tanti said, “We are waiting for the announcement of the Prime Minister. If we get the announcement, we will go to work. This decision was taken in the meeting.”
When asked about the formation of their committee, Gopal Rajbhar said, “We will not talk about the committee now.” At that time, Mohan Rabidas said in the presence of all the Panchayat Heads, Cha Sramik Odhikar Parishad was formed with Mohan Rabidas as the convener and Aban Tanti as the member secretary. Along with this announcement of Mohan Rabidas, two other tea workers, including Mintu Tanti, who were beside him, said that it has not been decided. Some agreed and some objected. At that time there was a commotion.
In this regard, the organizing secretary of Bangladesh Tea Workers Union Bijay Hazra said that we are the elected tea workers union. I have held several meetings with the Bangladeshi Tea Association to collect the 20-point demands, including the increase in the wages of the tea workers. We have already reaped several benefits. We have strengthened the movement on wages. The owner has agreed to pay an increase of 25 taka from 120 taka to 145 taka. We did not accept it. Still continuing the agitation for the demand of standard wages. Mohan Ravidas from Madhyakhan is serving his own secret interests in the name of movement. He said, Mohan Rabidash’s main goal is not to increase wages but to become a leader.
Meanwhile, in the evening, Mohan Rabidas said on the phone that according to the meeting’s findings, the Cha Sramik Adhikar Parishad was formed with him as the convener and Aban Tanti as the member secretary, all the Bagan Panchayat president-secretary and all the students and youth as members. As the main purpose of this committee, he said, there is no leader of tea workers union in the field now. Students and youth are agitating. It needs a forum. So it’s done. In response to the question whether they will call for an agreement to increase the wages of the tea workers at this time, he said, that is the next issue. The Tea Workers’ Rights Council wants to have a meeting with the Prime Minister.