(Asian Independent)- Over 500 tea garden workers from Birpara tea garden gathered at the plantation’s factory as the Merico Agro Industries Ltd tried to take over management of the garden illegally. The tea garden workers demanded that the new employer should talk directly to them, instead of holding secret meetings with a select few so called union leaders. They insisted that the management must clarify how their dues of around Rupees 10 crores would be paid to them.
While the new employer seemed ready to negotiate at one point, the arrival of a vested TMC union leader led to a change in stance. Using the large police force present, the management with the support of a section of trade union leaders refused to negotiate. The tea garden workers’ representatives were not were not even allowed inside the factory.
TMC goons harassed tea garden workers and threatened them to leave the factory. Local MLA Manoj Tigga, as well as MP John Barla were also heckled and chased away.
Workers of Jateswar division along with the support of a large section of main division workers have decided to continue the struggle with total non cooperation with the management, as the takeover of the garden is in contravention of a High Court order that forbids Duncan India Limited from giving the garden to any other owner.