Another tea garden of Duncans Group in Dooars downed its shutters on Tuesday morning leaving around 2,800 employees jobless.
Tension prevailed in the area after the workers of Nageswari Tea Garden at Metli Block found closure notice on the main gate. Sources said the workers staged demonstration outside the tea garden.
Trouble at the tea garden started since February 2015. First the salary became irregular after which the tea garden authorities stopped the payments.
The situation turned worse from April 2015. A worker alleged the authorities never paid attention after they requested several times to clear the dues.
He alleged that they have not received any payment since April 2015. However, the workers never stopped working despite the irregular payments.
Another worker alleged that the production of tea was good. The authorities used to sell the product in market. But they had problems in clearing dues of the workers and on Tuesday they suddenly closed the tea garden without any prior notice. The workers were allegedly deprived of 90 rations each.
No clear reason has been stated behind the closure notice. The workers also searched for the officials of the tea garden but they failed to find anyone. The workers are now in a helpless situation as they have no other means of livelihood.
It may be mentioned that around 8 to 10 workers died at the same tea garden in the last 10 months and the situation has turned worst after its closure.
The workers alleged that several senior officials had visited the garden in the past few months. They took a note of the situation, but nothing turned fruitful yet.
It may also be mentioned that the Criminal Investigation Department had initiated a probe in connection with the closure of tea gardens of Duncans Group and alleged non-payment of wages to the workers. The group’s chairman was also questioned in this connection.