The meeting at the Kalchini BDO’s office on Monday. Picture by Anirban Choudhury
Alipurduar, Aug. 25: Work will resume tomorrow in Dima Tea Estate in the Dooars, where a worker had thrashed a garden official two days ago to protest a cut in his wage.
As the workers could not pluck leaves today, to realise the wage they would work next Sunday.
The garden management today held a meeting with the block development officer of Kalchini and the garden unions before coming to the decision to resume work in the out division of the estate, which has the tea bushes.
The management announced halt in work at the out division from today after Subodh Lama, who sprayed pesticide on bushes in that division, entered the quarters of an assistant manager and beat him up on Saturday night.
Subodh then chased the official Dipak Kingkar Singh, who fled his quarters, with a dagger.
Today, when tea garden unions criticised the management for partially halting work, the manager, Sudhir Kumar Das, mentioned that when Singh was being beaten up by Lama, other workers witnessed the assault but did not come to the rescue of the assistant manager.
Lama had attacked Singh allegedly because half a day’s wage was cut because he had not shown up at work.
The block administration called the meeting today at 5pm at the BDO’s office today to sort out the matter.
Rabi Baraik, the Dima garden unit’s secretary of Intuc-backed NUPW, said: “When we saw in the morning that the managers had not reached the out division we wrote a memorandum in which we mentioned that the police had arrested the the accused person and he is already in jail. Then why should other workers suffer, especially when Puja is nearing and the workers need money. We have already strongly condemned the incident and we demand his (Lama’s) strong punishment. We demanded immediate intervention of the administration and they responded and called a meeting at 5pm.”
Manager Das said after the meeting: “As we said yesterday, there was no work in the out division of the garden but everything was normal in the main division. In the evening, there was a meeting where everyone, including the police and administration, condemned the incident. I mentioned that when the worker was beating up the manager, other workers present there could have stepped in and rescues the manager, which they didn’t do.”
Das said: “They (the workers) have assured us of the safety of managers and I declared that from tomorrow, work in the out division will resume. In case of any other dispute, we will talk to the trade union leaders.”