Labours of Tea Plantation
Tea plantation is the most ancient form of plants plantations. The first memories of the tea plantations date back to 1835 when the tea began to be grown commercially in some parts of India. Typically, these plantations were under the supervision of foreigners, who are often neglected labor standards and a negligent attitude to work. Such trends have survived until today. This paper talks about the workers in the tea plantations and the difficulties they face every day.
Tea plantations require the use of two key resources such as land and manual labor. In early development, tea producers have faced labor shortages because local people did not have the desire to work for low wages. In addition, the working conditions were not the best. This triggered the influx of migrants who were willing to work for little money in terrible conditions. The majority of countries-producers of tea established laws governing the cultivation of tea and work on tea plantations. However, it is very difficult to make such laws for the plantation owners.
A clear hierarchy of management is the main characteristic of the labor on the plantations. Collectors of tea are the lower layer in the hierarchy. They are under the control of the HR manager, which in turn is controlled by the owner of the plantation. The organizational hierarchy is accompanied by a hierarchy of superiority. It is the fact that the owner of the plantation and collectors of tea are two completely different social layers of the population with different incomes and principles. This explains the fact that the plantation owners and HR managers apply to collectors like to the slaves.
All this is aggravated by the fact that there is a huge turnover among workers of the plantation. This makes it impossible to provide basic corporate culture that would facilitate the work and achieve higher wages. In addition, employees with experience have a duty to teach beginners. This creates a lot of conflict because of racial and social differences. All this creates strict principles of hierarchy, which in turn do not allow to fully applying the laws governing the work in this sphere of commerce.
A huge number of women work on the plantations. They made it up about half of all workers. At the same time, many owners of tea plantations consider women as more productive to work on plantations, as they are more tolerant and capable of hard work. However, at the same time, women do not have any privileges compared with men. On the contrary, men have the slightest chance of improving, and women do not have such a chance at all. Women used to save salary. In addition to women, many children are used as labor on plantations to save salary.
Initially, Asian tea plantations were established on feudal principles. This means that the plantation owners wanted to save on wages and salaries as much as possible. At the same time, government interference in business affairs of plantation owners was unacceptable. Some of the feudal principles are preserved in Asia plantations to our times. For example, employees do not take any part in the decision-making, including decisions related to these employees. Unlike Asia, African tea plantations were developed with other principles. The owners of plantations in Africa not just wanted to get rich but be profitable for the country. This gave the result. Thus, African plantation began to bring huge profits to the state budget, while the workers have more rights.
Despite the denial of workers’ rights and the existence of a rigid hierarchy, many tea plantations’ workers form unions. The purpose of these organizations is to improve workers’ rights and collective decision-making, taking into account the tea gatherers. However, the trade unions of employees do not bring tangible results. As already mentioned, in Asia, as in Africa, the owners of the tea plantations are foreigners, which often neglect the working conditions, pay, and do not take into account the views of employees. The difference in racial and social backgrounds is an important factor in this relationship. At the same time, keep in mind that each country has its own laws, and it is very difficult to establish legislation in the field of labor, if the plantation is in India, the owner of the plantation is the European and the worker of this plantation is African.
There are many reasons that explain the effectiveness of the trade unions in the tea plantations. Plantation of India had long been under the control of England, whose members fully banned trade union organization. In addition, the British could imprison any employee, beat him/her and fined legally. Such methods of punishment have become commonplace among many owners of tea plantations.
Today, the tea workers also suffer humiliation at the hands of their employers. Current legislation is more loyal to the workers than during the colonial India. Today, owners of tea estates should provide accommodation to their employees, to ensure medical care and labor warranty. However, complaints of tea plantation workers appear very often. The living conditions of the workers of tea plantations are very heavy, as it is often a very uncomfortable housing, hygiene conditions are not met. It is very difficult to enjoy guaranteed health care services, and labor guarantees are not met.
Tea is the oldest and most popular drink in the world. Production of tea is the hard work that must be paid respectively. Today, almost all the tea gatherers suffer the humiliation of all sorts, thereby jeopardizing the extraction of precious tea leaves. Therefore it is necessary to take global measures.