Tea Workers Struck Work in West Bengal

Tea workers in West Bengal and Assam are on a path of struggle for their demand for bonus and wage increase. In West Bengal, many tea estates in Darjeeling refused to pay a bonus at 20 percent leading to a day’s strike on 9 October in some tea gardens where AICCTU affiliated unions refused to accept an 8.50% bonus. The joint platform of unions negotiated with the tea estate authorities for three rounds of meetings in Kolkata which remained inconclusive. AICTTU, CITU, UTUC, AIUTUC and others walked out of the meeting when the 8.50% to 15% percentage bonus was finally discussed on October 6. On 9 October, a march and gate meeting was held in Terai-Duars tea estates to press for the demand of an increased bonus.

The owners called a meeting in Kolkata the next day on the settlement of the bonus. The Tea Workers' Joint Forum participated in the meeting. 

The protest marches were held and many estates remained shut including Mohanlal Bagan and Saidabad Bagan in Terai region.

AICCTU State General Secretary Basudev Basu, on behalf of trade unions, said that there can be no compromise on the demand for a 20 percent bonus.