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13 Jul 2017

March to Assembly lined up on tea wage

TT, Siliguri, July 12: The conglomeration of trade unions of tea plantation workers has lined up conventions, demonstrations and a march to the Assembly to mount pressure on the state government to fix a minimum wage in the industry.
The decision to resume the agitation for the minimum pay was taken by the Joint Forum, which is made up of over 20 unions. Unions affiliated to Trinamul are no constituents of the forum.
"We will resume our agitation as there hasn't been any development on fixing of minimum wage. We will organise conventions of tea workers in the districts of Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri and Alipurduar next week. Then, there would be demonstrations in tea estates and workers will join their duties wearing black badges," Mani Kumar Darnal, a prominent leader of the forum and a general secretary of the Intuc-backed National Union of Plantation Workers, said.
"On August 3, we will organise a march to the Assembly building in Calcutta. Hundreds of tea garden workers will participate in the march," added Darnal.
The forum had intensified its movement for the minimum wage in April following the expiry of the three-year wage agreement. Last month, the forum held demonstrations in tea estates and observed a 48-hour strike in the industry.
However, in the past few weeks, there has been no protest programme on the issue.
On July 17, 19 and 20, the forum will organise conventions at Hamiltonganj (Alipurduar), Chalsa (Jalpaiguri) and Naxalbari or Siliguri (Darjeeling).
From July 21 to 27, workers will demonstrate in gardens and wear black badges while on duty.

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