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3 Jul 2017

TMC attacks tea 'silence'

TT, Siliguri, July 2: Trinamul-affiliated trade unions in tea gardens today questioned the "silence" of other unions over the indefinite strike in the hills that has hit the industry and labourers associated with it hard.
The indefinite agitation spearheaded by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha has not only rendered around 50,000 labourers in 87 plantations jobless but also left the gardens counting their losses.
"It is disappointing to see that no leader of the other trade unions has raised his voice in favour of the tea workers and their families who have been living in deplorable condition for the past three weeks," said Prabhat Mukherjee, the vice-president of the Cha Bagan Trinamul Congress Mazdoor Union.
Mukherjee also referred to the twin strikes called last month by the Joint Forum, an apex body of 24 tea trade unions other than those backed by Trinamul, against minimum wage.
"They are surprisingly silent and have not taken any initiative to stand by the tea workers in the hills," he added.
Mani Kumar Darnal, a senior leader of the Joint Forum and joint general secretary of the Intuc-backed National Union of Plantation Workers, said: "We want the state and Centre to work out a solution and ensure that tea workers and their families in the hills do not face any inconvenience. The current movement is political and is not directly related to the tea industry."

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