Posted by: Sujoy Das | July 27, 2010

Tea Garden Strikes cripples two Barak estates – TOI Guwahati 26th July 2010

SILCHAR: The Assam government might claim that the tea industry was back on track after a long stint of recession, but workers’ agitation at two gardens in Cachar district has virtually rubbished what the state has to stay.

On Friday, labour and employment Prithvi Majhi had said that the total accumulation in the Assam Tea Plantations Provident Funds had gone up to Rs 4,465 crore from Rs 3,000 crore in the past four years.

However, the irony is that it’s for the Provident Funds (PF) that 1,700 workers of the Doloo Tea Estate in Cachar have gone on a strike. For the past six days, they are staying away from the garden in protest against alleged non-deposition of their share of PF worth Rs 4 crore by the management. Sources in the Intuc-affiliated Barak Valley Cha Shramik Union (BVCSU) sources on Sunday said the workers of Doloo Tea Estate want the management to deposit the outstanding amount of PF with authorities concerned at the earliest.

“The new management has failed to respond to the workers’ demands, compelling the latter to go on a strike,” BVCSU assistant general secretary Dina Nath Baroi said

Doloo Tea Estate has a 821.72-hectare plantation area. The sources said Doloo was not the only garden in the area which has failed to deposit the PF share of workers. “Most of the 104 tea gardens in the Barak Valley are PF defaulters,” a source said.

On the other hand, work in the Benodenagar Tea Estate, also in Cachar, continued to be crippled for the third day on Sunday with its workers refusing to call off their indefinite strike on various demands, including PF.

Baroi said a meeting of the workers has been called on Monday at the union office to decide their future course of actions.

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