Demanding Govt notification on enhanced Minimum Wages

Around 4 lakh tea garden workers spread over in the tea plantations in the districts of Jalpaiguri, Darjeeling, Alipurduar and Dinajpur in West Bengal have started strike for three days from 7th August 2018 onwards, demanding, inter alia, announcement by the state govt the enhanced minimum wages for the tea-garden workers which is long overdue as committed by the TMC Govt in the state before the united forum of all the tea workers trade unions, irrespective of affiliations. The strike will continue till 9th August 2018. Thereafter the united forum of tea garden workers will meet to decide further course of offensive struggle.   

The united forum of tea workers trade unions have been agitating on their demands since last couple of years through various programmes including strike action. The TMC Govt in the state was compelled to respond through holding meeting with the united forum of trade unions and giving commitment to finalise the enhanced minimum wage for the tea workers as being demanded by the unions at the earliest. But even after passage of more than a year, no action has been taken by the Govt which compelled the united forum of tea workers trade unions to decide for three days strike action.

Till afternoon of 7th August 2018, strike is near total. Not only that, the striking workers from various tea gardens started marching towards Uttarkanya Building at Siliguri, the headquarter of the state govt in North Bengal. On their way wherever police force have stopped them, the striking workers in thousands started road blockade demonstrations paralyzing all vehicular movement. The entire north Bengal covering four districts today has been witnessing numerous road-blockade demonstrations by the striking tea workers determined to carry on their struggles braving atrocities by the Trnamool Congress Govt in the state. The strike has been so much massive on its first day itself that even the workers having allegiance to TMC trade union also joined the strike enmasse, while their leaders are moving with the state administration.  In such a situation, the state govt has again invited the leadership of the striking workers for holding talks through the Dy Labour Commissioner today evening.

Tea garden workers and all their unions of all affiliations are totally united and determined to fight to the last to achieve their demands from the unwilling hands of the TMC Govt in the state which is acting in favour of the tea garden owners.

Strike will continue till 9th August. CITU congratulates the heroic struggle of the tea garden workers in West Bengal and the magnificent unity of workers developed through struggle and calls upon workers and their unions in other sectors to extend support and solidarity to their ongoing struggle.   

Tapan Sen
General Secretary

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