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Changmari tea garden closes down

SILIGURI: Changmari, the largest tea garden in the state has closed down.

While the Management has blamed a section of the workers for creating unrest, the workers have countered the allegation stating that the management has been depriving them of facilities and benefits.In the wee hours of Tuesday the management officials had left the garden. They claimed that some workers were disrupting the law and order situation and obstructing the smooth functioning of the garden. Hence, they were compelled to cease work.Trouble erupted when some workers of the "Sardar" rank were demoted to the "Chowkidar" rank. Workers under the aegis of TMC workers union protested this and organised a gate meeting. The same night the management officials left the garden.

On Wednesday morning, workers found the officials missing and realised that the garden had been closed down. They organised a protest meeting. "This is illegal. When the workers had organised a gate meeting to protest the demotion, the manager had assured us of tripartite talks at the earliest to resolve the issue. Instead of calling us for the talks, they have abandoned the garden. We demand the immediate opening of the garden and the ouster of the manager" demanded Manoj Munda, Pradhan of the Luksan Gram Panchayat and a resident of Changmari.

The manager of the garden stated that despite a resolution of an earlier tripartite meeting was in effect, a section of the workers were not adhering to it and creating unrest. "They were also not allowing temporary workers to work. Production was being hampered. Hence, we had no other option than to declare a cease work.

The notice of the cease work has been sent to all concerned people," stated Kamlesh Kumar Jha, manager. The tea garden located in Nagrakata in the Jalpaiguri district is spread over 1500 hectares. There are around 5000 workers including temporary ones. In 2018, the garden had faced a lockout. However, differences were resolved.

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