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Unions demand filling up of Group D posts in Cinchona plantations

Darjeeling: The AITMC Cinchona Plantation Workers Union has threatened to beef up the ongoing agitation if there is no positive response to their demand by May 26. They have been demanding the filling up of 681 vacant Group D posts with existing helpers or temporary workers. Anit Thapa, President, Bharatiya Gorkha Prajatantrik Morcha has also written to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for the filling up of Group D vacancies.

The ACPWU has been on an agitation path since April 28 with the demand of filling up of 681 Group D vacancies. "These posts have been vacant for more than 10 years. Experienced daily wage workers known as helpers have been working in these posts, drawing a meager daily wage of Rs. 271. We want them to be absorbed in these vacant posts immediately," stated Santosh Khawas, President.

Talks had been held at Nabanna on May 13, chaired by Minister Subrata Saha. The meeting, however, failed to break the ice. On May 19th a meeting was chaired by Principal Secretary, GTA in Darjeeling.

"He assured us that the matter would be resolved within a week. We have decided to step up our agitation if nothing concrete comes by in the next 7 days," said Kunal Ghising, General Secretary of workers union.

Meanwhile, Anit Thapa, President, BGPM in a letter to CM Mamata Banerjee, has written "…most of the vacancies in Group D and C are lying vacant since 2011.

It is due to non-promotion of those senior daily rated workers to Group D. Being in charge of the Hill Affairs Department , Government of West Bengal, any arising problem within GTA can be sorted out through your initiative only," wrote Thapa.

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