CITU DENOUNCES FIRING BY GARDEN-OWNER ON TEA GARDEN WORKERS IN ASSAM

DEMANDS STRINGENT ACTION ON THE EMPLOYER BY STATE/CENTRAL GOVT
AND APPRORIATE COMPENSATION TO THE VICTIMS

THE Centre of Indian Trade Unions expresses shock and vehemently condemns the indiscriminate firing on the tea garden workers by the Tea Garden Owner on 13th December 2017 which is reported by the media.

It is learnt that the workers of Bogidhala Tea Estate in Golaghat district of Assam have not been getting their earned wages since long despite continuously working in the Garden. On that fateful day a section of workers went to the Bunglow-Office of the Tea Garden Owners to press for payment of their earned wage pending since long putting the workers in virtual starvation and distress. The arrogant tea garden owner suddenly opened fire on the assembled workers, squatting peacefully before the Bunglow without any provocation injuring at least twenty workers. The injured workers have been rushed to Jorhat Medical College Hospital and at least five of the injured workers are in extremely critical condition.

It is most deplorable that the workers have to face bullets from the garden-owner for demanding their unpaid earned wages for the work already done; non-payment of earned wages to workers on time is a serious offence on the part of the employers. The workers and their unions have been complaining against such non-payment and irregular payment since long. But the Govt, both in the state of Assam and in the centre have not taken any action against the defaulting employer, may be owing to their over-occupation in ensuring “ease of doing business”. This enthusiasm of the BJP government over “ease of doing business” has emboldened the employer to such an alarming  degree, that while deliberately defaulting in regular payment of wages to workers, they launched murderous assault on the workers demanding their legitimate earned wage. This is nothing but a criminal offence on the part of the concerned tea-garden owners. Such attacks have now, particularly under the new state government, become a regular phenomenon on the tea garden workers in Assam, who contribute almost half of the tea production in the country.

CITU strongly denounces such anti-worker attitude of both the tea garden owners and the Govts conniving with the employers in repressing and looting the workers. CITU demands immediate arrest of the tea garden owners and initiation of stringent action for their criminal and murderous offence. CITU also demands immediate release of payment of all pending wages to the workers and adequate compensation to all the injured workers, many of them are lying in critical condition.

(Tapan Sen)
General Secretary

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