Joint Forum of Trade Unions announce series of agitations over tea workers

first_imgDarjeeling: The Joint Forum of Trade Unions of West Bengal announced a series of agitation programmes, in demand of the implementation of minimum wages in the tea industry of the state.A meeting of the Joint Forum resolved that on June 27 and 28, memorandums will be given to District Magistrates, Superintendent of Police and GTA chairman, with the demand of implementation of minimum wages in the tea gardens.One June 24, the Joint Forum will hold a public meeting at Mirik, to address various issues including minimum wages, land documents for tea garden workers and the Margaret’s Hope incident of June 25, 1955, which is commemorated as martyr’s day. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsIncidentally on June 25, 1955, ajoint movement had been called by the trade unions of All India GorkhaLeague and undivided CPI at Margaret’s Hope Tea Garden, 24 km from Darjeeling.On that day, workers had assembled in Margaret’s Hope Tea Garden, to submit a 14 point charter of demands.A scuffle had taken place between the management and the workers and in the police firing that ensued, 6 people died and many were injured.The ones who were killed were Amrit Maya Kamini (18), Moulik Sobha Raini (23), Kancha Sunwar (22), Padam Bahadur Kami (25), Jitman Tamang (45) and Kaley Limbu (14). Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killed”On June 25, martyr’s day will be observed by all tea garden workers in Darjeeling, Terai and Dooars, before work in the garden commences,” stated Zia Ul Alam, convenor.On July 2, 3, 4 and 5, gate meetings and demonstrations will be held in front of all the 87 tea gardens in the Hills.”We feel that the government will pay heed to our just demand and implement minimum wages at the earliest. If the above programme fails to yield the desired results, then we will chalk out our future course of action. We appeal for support from one and all for our cause. Our agitation will be peaceful and democratic,” stated Alam.At present, workers are getting a daily wage of Rs 160. In 2015, a tripartite agreement was signed between operating trade unions, management of gardens and the state government, stating that minimum wages would be implemented. Recently, Rs 17.50 was given as interim hike to the daily wages.last_img read more