FROM A CORRESPONDENT
SILCHAR, May 1: Workers of Coombergram tea garden are reluctant to resume their duties after Fagua holidays. The magement is annoyed at the negligence shown by the workers towards their duties. Some workers have been reporting very late and thus making it impossible to resume garden activities. The workers are aware of that after many years a favourable weather condition arose. Magement was surprised to find that instead of taking advantage of heavy crop, the workmen chose to remain absent after the holidays and those who came were reporting late.
Despite repeated notices issued by Coombergram tea garden magement on March 29, April 4 and April 10 and several rounds of discussions with the union leaders, the workers were still not performing a full day work. The magement stands fair in suspending work and all operation of Coombergram tea estate. The magement has therefore issued a “lock-out” notice with immediate effect. The “lock-out” notice also states that the garden will remain closed until further orders. The workers will not receive any wages and ration. Chowkidars, bungalow helpers, workers engaged in electric, water supply and hospital out-door only will remain excluded from the purview of the notice.
A meeting was held at utch ghar, Coombergram tea estate protesting the “lock-out” notice, today. The meeting was attended by members of Bagan Panchayat and labour. The labourers stated that the lock-out notice is illegal since members of Bagan Panchayat, Indian Tea Association (Surva Valley Branch) and Barak Cha Sramik Union are in talks with the magement. The lock-out notice was signed by Prab Dev Mukhia, senior mager, Coombergram tea estate. The workers added that they have been going to their duties on time and thus the lock-out notice is out of context.
At present there are 554 permanent and 250 temporary labour serving in the Coombergram tea estate.
A meeting will be held at the office of Indian Tea Association, Surma Valley Branch on May 3. The meeting will be attended by the tea garden magement, Bagan Panchayat and Barak Cha Sramik Union. The meeting has been called for discussing the present condition of the tea garden.