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26 Apr 2017

Plea to lift tea garden protest

TT, Alipurduar April 25: The Dooars Branch of Indian Tea Association has appealed to the Joint Forum, a conglomeration of 24 tea garden trade unions, to withdraw demonstrations as they would cause losses to the industry.
Today, trade unions held demonstrations in gardens demanding implementation of minimum wages and the payment of the monetised value of food grains to workers.
The demonstrations continued for about two hours in all 167 gardens in the Dooars.
Union leaders said they would demonstrate till April 27 and if no step was taken, a movement would be launched.
Sumanta Guha Thakurata, the secretary of the DBITA, said: "Tea estates in the Dooars are facing financial crisis because of less production. Agitation during the second flush season will have a negative impact on production which will lead to more losses. We request the unions to withdraw the protest."
Jiaul Alam, the convener of the Joint Forum, said: "In 2015, the state had decided to fix the minimum wages for the workers and an agreement between the state and planters was also signed to implement the scheme in February 2016. But nothing has been done yet. The management had earlier agreed to pay monetised value of ration but backed out later."

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