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14 Dec 2017

Tea council to discuss strike pay

BIRESWAR BANERJEE, TT, Siliguri: Members of the Tea Advisory Council (TAC) formed by the state government will discuss the demand raised by tea workers of the hills that they be paid the wages for the 104 days of the shutdown, tourism minister Gautam Deb said here on Wednesday.

The council will hold a meeting in Calcutta on January 3. "At the next meeting of the council, we will discuss the present state of affairs of the north Bengal tea industry and the issue raised by tea workers of the hills. Some Gorkha Janmukti Morcha leaders have already brought it to the chief minister's attention and we are aware of the hardship these workers and their families had to face as they did not get wages during the strike," said Deb, who is also the chairman of the tea directorate.

The directorate and the council were formed by the chief minister last year to work and resolve problems pertaining to tea industry.

Political analysts said the "pending" wage issue was a sensitive one that both the Binay Tamang lobby of Morcha and the state want to handle delicately.

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