abusesaffiliationarrow-downarrow-leftarrow-rightarrow-upattack-typeburgerchevron-downchevron-leftchevron-rightchevron-upClock iconclosedeletedevelopment-povertydiscriminationdollardownloademailenvironmentexternal-linkfacebookfiltergenderglobegroupshealthC4067174-3DD9-4B9E-AD64-284FDAAE6338@1xinformation-outlineinformationinstagraminvestment-trade-globalisationissueslabourlanguagesShapeCombined Shapeline, chart, up, arrow, graphLinkedInlocationmap-pinminusnewsorganisationotheroverviewpluspreviewArtboard 185profilerefreshIconnewssearchsecurityPathStock downStock steadyStock uptagticktooltiptwitteruniversalityweb

31 Jul 2023

Lockout at Tasati Tea Estate amid dispute over pesticide spraying, workers and union not consulted

See all tags Allegations

"Lockout at Tasati Tea Estate", July 31 2023

The management of Tasati Tea Estate in the Falakata Block of Alipurduar district declared a lockout in the garden starting from Monday, citing the absence of proper work culture. A notice to this effect was posted in the garden on Monday.

Dissatisfaction between the workers and the management at Tasati tea garden had been brewing since Friday over the issue of pesticide spraying. Ultimately, the management decided to abandon the garden as they couldn’t find a viable solution to the problem. Consequently, about 1,200 workers became unemployed, and the future of hundreds of other employees in the garden has been pushed to uncertainty. The garden is owned by Tasati Tea Limited. The notice stated: “Needless to mention that present scenario in the Tea Industry cannot afford to control pests and mites by wasting substantial sums but at the whims and fancies of handful of sprayers, this Garden is being purposefully, thoughtfully, and deliberately ruined again and in turn destroying the future of further thousands of people depending on uninterrupted operations of the Estate. Enough appeals were being made remaining unheard, so we are left with no other option but to suspend the operations of the Garden with immediate effects.

“Copies of the lockout notice have been sent to the District Magistrate, Superintendent of Police, along with all operational trade unions.” Early Monday morning, the garden workers were taken aback when they came across a notice announcing the suspension of work. Anand Mahali, a worker, stated: “The management of the garden unexpectedly demanded that we spray pesticides four days a week instead of the usual twice weekly. The workers did not agree with this sudden demand. Moreover, the management also failed to provide the promised 76 rations for the workers. To our surprise on Monday we found the notice of the work suspension.”

Birendra Bara Oraon, president, Tea Garden Workers Union of the TMC, said: “All gardens have some problems. That does not mean that the administration abandons the garden. They could have had meetings with the workers’ trade unions. We will seek the intervention of the district administration for immediate reopening of the garden.”