Tea gardens strike in West Bengal deferred

August 18th, 2008 - 1:40 pm ICT by IANS  


Kolkata, Aug 18 (IANS) The indefinite tea gardens strike in West Bengal called by Coordination Committee of Plantation Workers (CCPW) for wage related issues, which was scheduled to start Monday, has been deferred for the time being, a union leader said Monday. “The strike has been indefinitely deferred as the office of the labour commissioner has called for a tripartite meeting Aug 22 to discuss wage related issues,” Aloke Chakraborty, joint-general secretary of the National Union of Plantation Workers, told IANS.

CCPW is an umbrella organisation of 17 labour unions of the country, of which National Union of Plantation Workers is one.

The participants at the tripartite meeting would be members from West Bengal government, CCPW and Consultative Committee of Planters’ Association (CCPA), which is formed by the tea garden owners.

Earlier Aug 11, CCPW went for a token strike in support of its wage hike demand.

It demanded a raise in the daily wages of the tea garden workers by Rs.42. But the management wanted to keep the wage hike at the present rate of Rs.11.10.

Darjeeling district of West Bengal has around 350 tea gardens with an approximate workforce of 350,000.

Tea from Darjeeling accounts for seven percent of India’s tea exports and the region churns out about 10 million kg of high-quality brews famous for their flavour, and which fetch five to six times the price of normal CTC (crush, tear, curl) tea.

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