CITU CONGRATULATES TEA GARDEN WORKERS OF WEST BENGAL

FOR HEROIC TWO DAY STRIKE ACTION ON 12-13 JUNE
CONDEMNS BARABARIC POLICE ATROCITIES ON THE STRIKING WORKERS

The Centre of Indian Trade Unions congratulates the tea garden workers of West Bengal for successful two-day strike action demanding enhancement and implementation of Statutory Minimum Wage. The strike was called by the united platform of Tea Garden workers in West Bengal, after the TMC-run Govt of West Bengal backtracked from its commitment for a negotiated settlement on enhancement of statutory minimum wage for the tea garden workers, as per dictate of the tea garden owners.

The strike was almost total on both the days in almost all the 300 tea gardens in the state spread-over three districts viz., Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri and Aliporeduar.

The TMC Govt in West Bengal took it as their prestige issue to break the strike at the dictate of the tea garden owners and unleashed brutal repression through its police machinery to break the strike, including chasing and hounding the workers in their colonies and drag them to their place of work in many gardens. But owing to united and determined resistance by the workers, police force failed to break the strike and in despair, unleashed brutal lathi-charge without provocation on the striking workers procession and mobilizations on both the days of strike, severely injuring many including a large number of women workers. Mass scale arrests of striking workers also took place and charges on non-bailable section was inflicted upon them. But in a number of cases, the militant demonstration by the workers enmasse before many police stations in the tea garden area, local police was compelled to release many of the arrested workers.

CITU condemns such barbaric assault and repression on the peaceful strike action by the tea-garden workers by the TMC Govt in the state at the behest of the tea garden owners. The State Govt never bothered when the tea garden workers were in the midst of starvation owing to unlawful closure of many tea gardens, illegal shut-down of production etc leading to hundreds of starvation deaths. But when the workers and their unions closed their ranks to fight back the profit hungry garden owners, the TMC Govt, instead of taking action against the garden owners for their habitual unlawfull activities, pounced upon brutally on the workers demanding proper wages. This exposes the brazenly anti-worker approach of the state govt acting virtually as agents of garden-owners.

CITU denounces such anti-worker policies of the Govt and salutes the heroic resistance by the garden workers at every stage, which is no doubt inspiring for the entire working class movement.

( Tapan Sen )
General Secretary

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