Lakhs of tea garden workers and employees went on a historic strike in North Bengal defying the tea garden owners and the TMC’s fatwa not to join the strike convened by the joint forum of the tea garden employees including the CITU led Chia Kaman Majdoor Union. The strike call was fully successful in the over 260 tea gardens out of a total of 276 tea gardens spread across Darjeeling hills, terai and dooars. Baring a few handful few which clocked partial shutdown as to the presence of TMC ‘s union all the other tea gardens remained closed as CITU State Secretary Dipak Dasgupta rushed to North Bengal to hand over economic support to families of famished tea garden workers of the state. At the call of the major trade unions all the other unions of various industrial sectors too demonstrated in the state in support of the Strike call given by the tea sector trade Unions. It can be recalled that yesterday at the call of the Joint forum of tea garden workers, the tea workers observed relay hunger strike at 44 places in the region. The strike, convened by a Joint Forum of 24 different tea workers unions, comes against the backdrop of the death of 22 workers in the tea gardens of north Bengal since May 2015 due to malnutrition and diseases caused by hunger.
The W. Bengal Government should immediately act for discussion and settlement of the issues of the tea garden workers.