After state intervenes, largest tea garden in Darjeeling dist reopens

It was shut in October after workers didn’t get bonus dues

After state intervenes, largest tea garden in Darjeeling dist reopens

DARJEELING: Long View Tea Estate, the largest tea garden of the Darjeeling district reopened on Monday following three rounds of tripartite talks between the representatives of the tea garden union, the management and Labour department of the government of West Bengal.

With the garden failing to pay bonus dues by September 24 2021 as per agreement, workers abstained from joining work. The garden then closed down from October this year.

The Labour department intervened and conciliation meetings were held on October 29 and November 19 but they failed to resolve the issue.

"Finally in a tripartite meeting on December 17 an agreement was reached whereby it was decided to open the garden from December 20. The management agreed to pay outstanding arrears, PF, gratuity and bonus," stated Mohammad Rizwan, Additional Labour Commissioner in-charge of North Bengal.

It was agreed that PF, Gratuity and Bonus arrears will be cleared by July 22 in a phased wise manner.

Outstanding wages and salary will be paid within 10 days from the date of resumption of work.

"Finally the issue has been resolved. Many workers have left the garden in search of jobs elsewhere. We have asked them to return," stated Nima Tamang of the Himalayan Plantation Labour Union, affiliated to the GNLF.

The garden with 1240 workers is spread on 500 hectares of land on the foothills of the district.

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