The Telegraph
Friday , January 25 , 2013
Since 1st March, 1999
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Manager blames tea trio

Alipurduar, Jan. 24: The management of Chamurchi Tea Estate in the Dooars has blamed the deteriorating work culture among a section of labourers, for suspension of work announced at the garden yesterday.

The notice announcing suspension of work was issued after G.P. Dixit, the general manager of Chamurchi, was gheraoed by a section of workers in his office on Tuesday evening. Later that night, he and other managerial staff left the garden.

The notice mentioned that the gherao was led by a trio — a sub-staff and two daily workers. The workers had demanded that full wages be paid to them even though they had failed to do their scheduled tasks during the fortnight for which wages were disbursed on Tuesday.

“The incident clearly shows that there is no administration in the garden and management has no authority to continue the operation of the garden in a meaningful manner,” read the two-page notice issued by Dixit late last evening.

“The recalcitrant workers during the confinement period have abused the managerial personnel in unparliamentary language, with destructive attitude damaged office equipment and tried to assault the undersigned (Dixit), but with the intervention of a section of workforce they failed to do so (assault Dixit and the other managerial hands),” the notice said.

According to representatives of Chamurchi Agro (India) Limited that owns the garden, the management had issued several notices and spoken with representatives of unions in the garden over the issue of non-fulfilment of tasks. It was clearly intimated to them that non-performers would be paid regulated wages as per their performance.

“The workers, led by Kamruddin Ansari, Gaffar Ansari and Muktamani Rabidas, instigated other workers and resorted to illegal confinement and intimidated the management representatives,” said a representative of Chamurchi Tea Estate.

Chitta Dey, convener of the Coordination Committee of Tea Plantation Workers, however, said: “The management hardly takes any steps against such disobedient workers to remind them of their service through notices but straightway goes for a lockout or suspension of work.”