Darjeeling tea workers observing 12-hr strike

Ahead of the festive season, workers of all the 87 tea garden estates of Darjeeling are observing a 12-hour strike on Friday demanding higher bonus payout.

Seven trade unions belonging to Himalayan Plantation Workers Union (HPWU) and Darjeeling, Terai, Dooars Plantation Labour Union (DTDPLU) are demanding a higher bonus payout at 20 per cent against 12 per cent which has been offered by the management.

The strike, which has impacted plucking of tea leaves, began at 4 am and will continue till 4 pm, sources said.

Darjeeling Indian Tea Association (DITA) secretary Mohan Chettri said that the unions had been demanding a bonus of 20 per cent.

"However, we have been offered 12 per cent", Chettri said. The issue was likely to be finalised at a meeting between the unions and the managements of tea estates on October 17, he said.

However, the tea garden workers of Terai and Dooars of north Bengal have been offered a bonus payout of 18.5 per cent which has been accepted by them, the sources said.

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