Tea unions approach state, GTA to reopen Longview tea estate
Tea trade unions wrote to the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) and state officials on Monday, seeking intervention to reopen the Longview tea estate as workers continued their relay hunger strike for the sixth day.
Trade unions affiliated to GNLF, Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (Binay faction) and Trinamul wrote to Anit Thapa, chairman of the BoA of the GTA, district administration and state labour department to end the stalemate over dues between Longview workers and management. “We sent letters seeking immediate intervention…we want operations to resume and workers’ dues cleared,” said Nima Lama, president of the GNLF’s Kurseong sub-divisional committee.
J.B. Tamang, chairman of Darjeeling Terai Dooars Plantation Labour Union, the Morcha’s trade union arm, visited Longview on Monday.
Raju Bista, BJP MP of Darjeeling, also spoke in favour of talks to resolve the deadlock.
Bista said: “Instead of engaging with workers and finding a solution to the crisis, the management closed down the garden. I request the Bengal government, the planters’ associations and the trade unions to facilitate talks to resolve the issue at the earliest.”
Longview, 26km from Siliguri, produces orthodox Darjeeling tea. Some 1,200 permanent and casual workers work there. Since August 19, workers backed by unions launched a relay hunger strike for their dues, including a part of last year’s bonus. The management suspended work from August 21.