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Regular-article-logo Thursday, 18 April 2024

Longview tea estate to reopen tomorrow

The management has agreed to clear the arrears, including the bonus of last year, by October 7

Our Correspondent Siliguri Published 22.09.20, 01:37 AM
Since August 21, the 500-hectare garden was closed as the management had announced suspension of work alleging lawlessness, around 10 days after workers launched a sit-in demonstration, demanding payment of their dues.

Since August 21, the 500-hectare garden was closed as the management had announced suspension of work alleging lawlessness, around 10 days after workers launched a sit-in demonstration, demanding payment of their dues. Shutterstock

Work is set to resume from Wednesday at the Longview tea estate, some 20km from here under the Kurseong subdivision of Darjeeling district, ending a month-long impasse over dues.

On Monday, a tripartite meeting was organised by state labour department in Siliguri to facilitate its reopening. “Representatives from the management side and from tea trade unions were present (besides officials from the labour department)...it was decided that the garden would reopen on September 23,” said Md Rizwan, additional labour commissioner of Siliguri.

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“The management agreed to clear the arrears, including the bonus of last year, by October 7. In total, it would be around Rs 80 lakh...an agreement has been signed among the parties present at the meeting,” added Rizwan.

Since August 21, the 500-hectare garden was closed as the management had announced suspension of work alleging lawlessness, around 10 days after workers launched a sit-in demonstration, demanding payment of their dues.

The announcement of suspension of work at the garden had left as many as 1,200-odd workers jobless.

After Longview had closed down, a number of political leaders, including Anit Thapa, chairman of the BoA of Gorkhaland Territorial Administration, visited the garden and assured all help to workers.

“The workers are happy as ahead of the upcoming festivities (Durga Puja), the management has decided to reopen the garden. We hope the management will honour the agreement and clear the workers’ dues,” said Pranam Rasaily, president of the Kurseong branch committee of Darjeeling Terai Dooars Plantation Workers Union, the trade union front of the Morcha.

Sources in the state labour department said 16 other tea gardens are closed in the region now.

“The state is taking all necessary initiatives to reopen these gardens, some of which are closed for many years now,” said a source.

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