Morcha trade union shuns Kolkata meet for bonus

Sun, Aug 11, 2019

Our Correspondent
Consequent to the GNLF affiliated trade union’s announcing not to accept less than 20 percent Puja bonus for tea garden workers in the hills, the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha trade union today threatened not toparticipate in the bonus meeting for the tea garden workersif it isheld in Kolkata.
The Morcha (Binay camp) affiliatedDarjeeling Terai Dooars Plantation Labour Union (DTDPLU) working president J.B. Tamang said all the negotiation meetings for the Pujabonus of the tea garden workers has to be conducted in Darjeeling hills or the union members will not attend. “Last year, we were forced to attend the meetings in Kolkata but this time we will not go," he said.
Tamang was speaking after the trade union’s indoor meeting today with himalso adding that this time they were demanding that bonus be given at the rate of 20 percent. Last year, the management citing loss in
production had disbursed only given 15 percent as Puja bonus.“We accepted 15 percent bonus last year in protest. This time though, we will not stand down from 20 percent,” he said.
Last year, the management initially wanted to give only 8.33 percentbonus because of loss in production due to the 104 days Statehoodagitation. The amount was however settled at 15 percent following intense
rounds of negotiation.
Tamang also said the bonus meeting for the tea gardens of Terai and Dooarswould be held on August 31 and September 1 and demanded owners of the Hills garden to start dialogues immediately. “Bonus meetings take a longtime to settle and sometimes a decision is not made even a week before the Pujas which creates problems for the workers. We want the negotiation meeting for the Hills to start as early as possible,” he said.

Area: 7096 Sq Km
Altitude: 5,840 ft
Population: 6.10 Lakhs
Topography: Hilly terrain elevation from 600 ft. to over 28,509 ft above sea level
Summer: Max- 21°C ; Min – 13°C
Winter: Max -13°C ; Min – 0.48°C
Rainfall: 325 cm per annum
Language Spoken: Nepali, Bhutia, Lepcha, Tibetan, English, Hindi