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29 Sep 2022

Amitava Banerjee, MilleniumPost

India: Darjeeling Organic Tea Estates allegedly 'abandons' tea gardens without paying workers' bonuses

The Management of the 10 tea gardens under the Darjeeling Organic Tea Estates Pvt. Ltd (DOTEPL) formerly popular as the Bansal Group, abandoned the gardens without any notice. They have not paid bonuses to the workers along with past dues. The sudden disappearance of the management without paying the dues has drawn flak from different political outfits.

The Hamro Party beefed up its "Blood Tea" campaign with party President Ajoy Edwards drawing his own blood and sprinkling it on the tea bushes at Happy Valley tea estate in Darjeeling as a mark of protest.

Workers of these 10 gardens have been on an agitation path since long with the Management failing to pay wages, salary along with PF and gratuity. In the recent past operations had come to a standstill with non-payment. Finally an agreement had been reached that the gardens would become operational from September 9 with assurances of paying two fortnights of due wages and one month of due salary.