Showing posts with label strike news. Show all posts
Showing posts with label strike news. Show all posts

GJM - DTDLPU not to support country-wide bandh against labour law and reforms

11:49 AM
The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) today said it would not support the country-wide bandh jointly called by the Left Front and the Congress on September 2 to protest the central government’s labour law and reforms that allegedly curb’s workers’ rights. GJM general secretary Roshan Giri issued a press statement to announce the party’s stand. “Being the principal political party in the hills, it is our responsibility to maintain the peaceful atmosphere that is presently prevailing. Also, we feel that bandhs will hamper the ongoing development work in Darjeeling,” he said. The trend in the Darjeeling hills has been to ignore strikes whenever they are called by mainstream political parties whatever be the issue. However, political analysts are of the opinion that the GJM does not want to antagonise both the BJP - its political ally - and the Trinamool Congress, with whom it has come close again.
Roshan Giri
Roshan Giri - a file photo
The GJM-affiliated Darjeeling Terai Dooars Plantation Labour Union (DTDPLU) also said it would not support Wednesday’s bandh referring to the BJP as an ally. “The GJM is part of the NDA government at the Centre. Moreover, we have our own issues that are being discussed with the state and the Centre,” said DTDLPU spokesperson Milan Pradhan. The Left Front’s strike call is being supported by several trade unions including that of the Congress party, alleging the Centre’s policies were anti-worker and leaning more towards the corporate sector. The DTDPLU is presently in a pact with the John Barla-led Adivasi Vikash Parishad of the Dooars to push for its own demands. “On August 22, we held a meeting with the AVP to take forward our demands related to tea garden workers of the hills and the plains from September onwards. It will be difficult to extend any support to the Left Front and Congress called bandh,” Pradhan reasoned.

The DTDPLU and the AVP’s demand include allocating patta (land rights) to tea garden workers, opening of closed gardens in the Dooars and implementation of the minimum wage act. In the hills alone, there are 87 tea gardens which employ more than 50,000 workers and this figure does not include their dependents.

Source EOI

WB govt offices to stay open on day of Sept 2 strike
The West Bengal government on Monday made it mandatory for all its employees to be present on September 2 when a nation-wide trade union strike has been called by central trade unions.
In view of the trade union strike all over the country on September 2, government offices, including those provided with grant-in-aid, would remain open and no leave would be granted on that day, a memo, issued by state Finance Department, said.

Moreover, the directive said that absence of employees on that date would be treated as 'dies non' and no salary would be admissible. PTI

GJM Calls Off Electricity Office Strike - after WBSEDC Ltd Agrees to Review Inflated Bills and Faulty Meters

10:26 AM
After a tense morning, after the West Bengal government landed massive number of police to ensure that electricity offices remained open despite GJM call for shut down, the talks between GJM and WBEDCL were however, fruitful.
GJM Calls Off Electricity Office Strike - after WBSEDC Ltd Agrees to Review Inflated Bills and Faulty Meters
WBSEDC Ltd Agrees to Review Inflated Bills and Faulty Meters - 
Pic via: Himalaya Darpan
Following which, the West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company Limited on Monday announced it would revise the electricity bills being generated in the hills and also facilitate instalments for those consumers who need to pay significant amounts.

The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha had enforced an indefinite closure of WBSEDCL offices across the hills beginning today denouncing the exorbitant amounts being charged to consumers for power usage.

However, Gorkhaland Territorial Administration officials held a meeting this afternoon with the WBSEDCL chairman and the Darjeeling district magistrate to address the issue. GTA sabhasad and GJM general secretary Roshan Giri said, “We did not discuss about the bills related to the statehood agitation period as this will be taken up in a meeting with the state government. We just deliberated on the moot issues in the bills for the August 2011 to February 2015 period.”

Giri said the WBSEDCL has agreed to revise the current inflated bills on case basis. “The power supplier has agreed to hear complaints of those consumers slapped with high amounts depending on the merits of each case. Further, late surcharges will not be charged with consumers getting the flexibility to clear their dues in 60 instalments over a five-year period. The WBSEDCL has also promised to replace faulty metres,” he said.

WBSEDCL chairman Narayan Swarup Nigam said the meeting was successful. “The discussions were positive and we are sure a workable solution can be achieved. We have come to certain conclusions and will ensure consumers are not inconvenienced,” he said.

When asked about the spot billing issue that the GJM has proscribed since Saturday, Nigam said, “We will sit for a meeting with the agencies providing us with the service. The matter was not raised today.”

Late in the evening, Giri told reporters the shutdown call on WBSEDCL offices has been lifted and another meeting with WBSEDCL officials is scheduled for Wednesday.

Source: DC

GJM Extends "Moral Support" to 3-Day Truck Strike Call by Darjeeling Truck Drivers Association

9:10 AM
The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) has decided to extend "Moral Support" to a 72-hours truck strike that has been called by the Darjeeling Truck Driver’s Association (DTDA) from today February 12 to Saturday February 14, 2015 against 'Police Harassment' and the prolonged closure of NH 55
DTDA team meeting GTA Sabhasad in charge of transportation Jyoti Rai
In file Pic: DTDA team meeting GTA Sabhasad in
charge of transportation Jyoti Rai
On Wednesday Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) Sabhasad Jyoti Kumar Rai, GTA’s in-charge of the transport department and the party’s assistant secretary said: “Our party has decided to support the bandh that has been called by the DTDA on moral grounds. The reasons given by the association for calling the strike are valid and justified. The police must stop harassing the truck drivers”.

As reported by TheDC earlier [details: http://on.fb.me/19aygSk] the DTDA has been forced to call for 3-days of token strike as a protest against continuous police harassment meted out to the Truck drivers, and the administrative apathy towards re-opening of the National Highway - 55.

The DTDA officials have placed three demands:

i) Stop the unnecessary harassment and fleecing of trucks from the hills, in the plains.
ii) Lift the no entry for trucks in Kurseong town, or build a bypass road for the trucks to pass
iii) Restore National Highway - 55 as early as possible.

Commenting on the development, Mr. Hari Prasad Pradhan DTDA President said, "we are thankful to all those organizations who have extended moral support to our strike... as hill dwellers it is important for us to speak out against atrocities and victimization of hill vehicles and drivers in Siliguri area with one voice... we welcome their support..."

He further said, "Even amongst the police there is a distinct difference... those officers who are posted above Kurseong have never harassed us... this harassment is only confined to police stations below Kurseong, and in particular in Siliguri... which makes us believe that this is a targeted harassment of hill vehicles by police from the plains..."

The DTDA had earlier requested the general public to support this strike, and had requested the public to join hands to raise the voice against repeated harassment and fleecing of hill vehicles in Siliguri Commissionerate and the state government's failure to repair the National Highway - 55 even 5 years after its closure.

Source: DC


Bimal Gurung threats 12-hour strike over raids on Assam arms haul case

9:54 AM
Vivek Chhetri and Rajeev Ravidas

Bimal Gurung today went back on his stand of not holding strikes in the Darjeeling hills and threatened a 12-hour shutdown if police did not stop raids in the wake of the Assam arms haul.
Bimal Gurung threats 12-hour strike over raids on arms haul case
"We very strongly protest this.... Today, I have faxed letters to the government of West Bengal, the Prime Minister, home minister and chief minister. The manner in which raids are being conducted in villages and homes is not something good. You must do something about it immediately, otherwise we will call a 12-hour strike. I called up the governor and told him so as well. We may even go for a 72-hour strike," he said in Kalimpong.

Gurung did not set any deadline for the government.

Home department sources in Calcutta said they had received no such fax at Nabanna till the end of office hours today. A senior government official said if such a fax does arrive, "the Union home ministry will be informed".

A section in the Morcha today said that though they were against the alleged raids by the police, Gurung's strike threat had taken them by surprise as he had himself suspended GTA Sabha member Sanjay Thulung, who is being hunted by the police in connection with the Assam arms haul case.

Thulung is untraceable. Police had raided Thulung's home after two people caught with the arms and ammunition in Assam were believed to have named him.

The Morcha has also alleged that the police raided the homes of two Morcha supporters, Jaspal Gazmer and Dinesh Theeng, on November 17. The police have denied any such raids.

The Morcha had last called a strike on July 30, 2013, which had extended to over a month when the Congress had taken a decision to carve out the Telangana state from Andhra Pradesh. But after the movement fizzled out following arrests of many Morcha leaders and supporters, the party decided to put a "bandh on bandhs" after meeting Mamata Banerjee in October 2013.

In the Lok Sabha election campaign, Gurung said there would be no strike in the hills and the statehood movement would be confined only to Delhi.

Umesh Kami and Ganesh Chhetri, the two arrested with the arms, had mentioned Thulung as the prospective recipient of the arms, police sources had said. During interrogation, the CID had said the duo had led them to 27th Mile under Runglee-Rungliot police station on December 6, where a rifle, 22 rounds of live ammunition were found in a building.

The police today had requested for a six-day remand of Kami. The court rejected the plea on the grounds that that seizure lists were not forwarded to the court and there was delay in recording the statements of the witnesses in the 27th Mile arms haul case.

The duo will be in judicial custody till January 30, 2015.

Source: Telegraph

23 trade unions on strike demanding minimum wages in North Bengal

1:56 PM
he 48-hour tea strike called by the joint forum of 23 trade unions demanding immediate revision of wages of three lakh-odd garden workers and fixing of minimum wages in the industry was total across north Bengal today.
A deserted Happy Valley tea garden in Darjeeling on Tuesday.
A deserted Happy Valley tea garden in Darjeeling on Tuesday. Picture by Suman Tamang
Workers of around 300 tea gardens in Darjeeling, the Terai and Dooars did not join work from this morning on the first day of the 48-hour shutdown.

"Tea workers across north Bengal have spontaneously supported the strike. They will also participate in tomorrow's strike that we have called over the demands of wage revision and fixing minimum wages for the industry," said Chitta Dey, the convenor of the Co-ordination Committee of Tea Plantation Workers. "We have been harping on the demands since March this year. But the garden owners are not ready to give a decent hike on the existing daily wage of Rs 95 (in plains) and Rs 90 (in hills). We want to make it clear that if the issue is not resolved immediately, we will have to launch a more extensive movement."

North Bengal has 300-odd tea gardens.

Along with the 48-hour tea strike, the joint forum has also called a 12-hour general strike tomorrow.

"People working as casual labourers in other sectors are earning over Rs 250 a day while tea workers are getting not even half of it. This cannot be accepted any more," Dey said.

Today, tea workers from the Dooars and Terai were seen assembling in front of the entrances and factories of the estates, raising slogans and demonstrating.

Trinamul Congress trade union is the only union that has not joined the industry-wide strike. This afternoon, Inttuc leaders claimed their supporters had worked in most gardens. "During the Left Front rule, strike was a major problem which had also affected the state's economy. After our government came to power, it has worked a lot for tea workers and reopened closed tea estates," Mithu Mohanta, the district Inttuc secretary of Jalpaiguri, said. "We oppose the strike as it would only affect the industry. Most of the gardens were open today and our workers have joined duties."

In Siliguri, north Bengal development minister Gautam Deb said the administration would put in all efforts to keep life normal during the 12-hour general strike called in some areas tomorrow. "As negotiations are on to resolve the issue of wage revision, there is no point in calling a general strike and cause inconvenience to people. The administration will take all necessary steps to prevent attempts to impose the strike. There will be additional buses of NBSTC on the roads and people will defy the strike," he said.

Tomorrow, the 12-hour general strike has been called in Jalpaiguri and Alipurduar districts and the subdivisions of Siliguri, Islampur and Mekhliganj in Darjeeling, North Dinajpur and Cooch Behar districts, respectively.

Darjeeling Terai Dooars Plantation Labour Union, the tea trade union of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, will not observe the 12-hour general strike in the hills tomorrow. "We have participated in the tea strike today and we will also participate in the tea strike tomorrow. But as exams are on in schools across the hills, we will not observe the general strike," Suraj Subba, the general secretary of the Morcha union, said.

Gautam Ghosh, the general secretary of Citu-backed Darjeeling Zilla Chia Kaman Mazdoor Union, said: "Today's strike in the tea industry was a success and we hope that the second day of strike will also be successful. We also feel that people will support the general strike, called in the interest of three lakh tea workers and their families."

This morning, a section of tea garden workers, mostly from the Dooars, walked out of the estates to work as day labourers in nearby agricultural fields or construction sites. "We are not entitled to today's wages as a strike was being observed. We will walk up to a nearby agricultural field where paddy is being harvested. We can get Rs 200 as wage, which can compensate today's loss," Mina Bhumij, a worker of Danguajhar on the outskirts of Jalpaiguri, said. Sanjoy Lakra, a casual worker from the same garden, headed to Jalpaiguri to work at a construction site where he could earn Rs 250.

Schools and hospitals in the gardens were open today.

Source: Telegraph

Indefinite strike' called by the All Sikkim Taxi Drivers

10:20 AM
The 'indefinite strike' called by the All Sikkim Taxi Drivers’ Association was not effective from its first day as private and government buses were seen plying as usual while a handful of taxis were also spotted on the National Highway.
Indefinite strike' called by the All Sikkim Taxi Drivers
Indefinite strike' called by the All Sikkim Taxi Drivers
The drivers are protesting against the state government’s decision to hand over taxi syndicates to cooperative societies. Mainline taxi syndicates operated by taxi drivers’ welfare associations are to be maintained by the cooperatives as per the government’s directive.

Around 1,500 taxi drivers and workers gathered at Singtam in east Sikkim to protest against the cooperatives. They took out a protest rally and staged a dharna outside the Singtam police station.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Pawan Chamling has said the government will not bow down to the pressure tactics of taxi drivers’ associations even as he asserted taxi ticket counters would be henceforth manned by cooperative societies.

“People from outside of Sikkim are involved in almost all the businesses here. The majority of those involved in the so-called strike are not from Sikkim. We are firm in our decision and will not relent even if the strike continues for a year,” said the chief minister today while addressing a function at Chakhung in west Sikkim.

Around 15 private buses carried passengers down to Siliguri and other places from the main line stand at Deorali. At least a dozen West Bengal number taxis had arrived in Gangtok with passengers. However, ticket counters for Siliguri, Kalimpong and other neighbouring places remained closed throughout the day.

The strike might affect the state’s tourism business as it is the festive season, but ignoring the apprehended loss, members of the Gangtok South-West Denzong Transport Cooperative Society and the Gangtok-Singtam-Rangpo Unemployed Youth Taxi Service Cooperative Society said they “welcome the new cooperative policy of the state government as it is beneficial for unemployed local youths”.

The cooperatives are functioning according to the norms laid down by the government and working on providing better facilities to drivers as compared to the earlier association, they added.

Further, they said, “We are neither against nor for this indefinite strike. We have opened counters and are trying to convince drivers to ferry passengers as we don't want to the latter to face any problem during the festive season.”

Almost 15 vehicles carried passengers from Gangtok to Rangpo, Singtam and south-west Sikkim today. However, the ticket counters for Pakyong, Rhenock and Rongli were shut down and the stand was empty.

Source: EOI

A poster signed by “public of Darjeeling” shuts hill town

11:14 AM
Darjeeling, Aug. 3: Almost all shops in Darjeeling town were shut today after a single poster signed by the “public of Darjeeling” appeared last evening calling for a shutdown of business establishments.

Darjeeling town was shut today after a single poster signed by the “public of Darjeeling” appeared.
No organisation took responsibility for the poster calling the shutdown but the first poster in Chowk Bazar led to a flurry of poster-slapping, some requesting people to keep the town running, others thanking “the administration for arresting” those involved an alleged funds misappropriation scam of a minority institution.

The first poster that told residents to keep businesses shut mentioned the arrest of Zahid Khan, the councillor of ward 18 of Darjeeling municipality, for his alleged role in financial irregularities of Anjuman Islamia, a society formed for the interests of the minority community.

Soon after “Darjeeling Janta (public of Darjeeling)” had put up the poster at Chowk Bazar yesterday around 3pm, another poster, this time signed by the “Sadharan Janata (the common public) was plastered at the same spot, urging people to keep the town open.

Early this morning, the Trinamul Congress put up a poster requesting people not to shut down businesses.

Around 2pm today, another poster signed by the “Garib Muslim Janata (the poor Musilm public)” was plastered, expressing their gratitude to the administration for arresting those involved in allegedly “embezzling” money meant for poor people.

An hour later, Trinamul put up another poster, protesting the closure of the town over “personal issues”.

N.B. Khawash, a Trinamul leader in Darjeeling, said: “We are against bandhs. After years, peace is returning to the hills. Tourists have started visiting the hills once again and it does not make sense to shut a town on personal issues.”

The 43-year-old Khan was arrested on July 31 after the wakf board filed a case with Bowbazar police in Calcutta last month.

In the complaint, eight former members of the Anjuman Islamia in Darjeeling were accused of indulging in financial irregularities in connection with the sale of three buildings.

Workers at the Darjeeling municipality observed a strike on August 1 to protest Khan’s arrest and a section of the Muslim shopkeepers downed shutters the next day.

Khan has been booked under Sections 120B (criminal conspiracy), 406 (criminal breach of trust), 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property of IPC.

He has been remanded in police custody and will be produced in court tomorrow.

Dipankar Dey, the defence lawyer for Khan, today said: “We are claiming that the Anjuman Islamia does not fall under the wakf board and they have no right to file a case against the eight persons. Anjuman Islamia is a body registered under the Societies Act and has its independent constitution. For property to be under the wakf board, due survey must be conducted; the state government has to come up with a gazette notification and the record must be included in the land records. There have been no such things on Anjuman Islamia.”

Source: Telegraph

Kurseong Byawasaik Sangathan (KBS) four-hour bandh

10:00 AM
Opposing WBSEDCL notices to commercial institutions here for paying power bills incurred during the statehood agitation period, the Kurseong Byawasaik Sangathan (KBS) has called a four-hour bandh of business establishments on Wednesday. The KBS has also threatened that if need be, it will knock on the doors of the high court and seek justice.

Kurseong Byawasaik Sangathan secretary Rajendra Prasad Agarwal.
Kurseong Byawasaik Sangathan secretary
Rajendra Prasad Agarwal.
KBS members on Monday held a meeting at the Gorkha Jan Pustakalay where they discussed the difficulty they are facing due to the WBSEDCL notices. The KBS has decided to dispatch deputations to the WBSEDCL, SDO and police administration on Wednesday and keep business establishments closed for four hours from 10 am to 2 pm so that all members get to participate in the agitation. KBS secretary Rajendra Prasad Agarwal said: “We condemn the action taken by the WBSEDCL wherein it has asked us to pay the electricity dues accumulated during the statehood agitation.”  

Agarwal further said that during the agitation period, many consumers had wanted to pay their bills, but it was the WBSEDCL that declined to accept payments. The office section used to remain open, but billing counters remained shut and this continued for more than three years, claimed the KBS secretary. “Now suddenly, the WBSEDCL realises it must send us the bills, but we will not oblige. What was the department doing all these years when bills were accumulating?” Agarwal wondered.

Source:EOI

Darjeeling 12-hour transport strike on October 3

11:43 AM
The newly constituted coordination panel of the All Transport Joint Action Committee (ATJAC), affiliated to the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, has called a 12-hour transport strike on October 3 demanding the release of two of their officebearers.

Darjeeling 12-hour transport strike
Darjeeling strike - empty road
“We demand the immediate release of Norbu Lama and Promod Srimal who were arrested for no fault of theirs. We have called a 12-hour transport strike on October 3. Except for emergency services, no vehicles, including two wheelers, will be allowed to ply. We will not even allow school buses, water tankers and milk vans to hit the roads,” said Manoj Chettri, secretary of ATJAC.

Incidentally, ATJAC secretary Srimal was arrested on September 2 on charges of blocking the National Highway 55. The organisation’s president, Norbu Lama, was arrested on September 28 in connection to arson and rioting in Darjeeling town.

Both are in judicial custody.

The coordination committee was formed by the ATJAC in Darjeeling on Tuesday. It comprises 53 transport syndicates of the Hills.

In another political development, the Trinamool Congress will be holding a public meeting at Bijanbari, 35km from Darjeeling, on Wednesday.

“Nor th Beng al development minister and TMC leader Goutam Deb will be addressing the meeting,” said TMC leader NB Khawas.

Meanwhile, Brij Mohan Garg, the president of Darjeeling Chamber of Commerce, was granted interim bail by the chief judicial magistrate court of Darjeeling on Tuesday.

“He was granted bail on health grounds. While in judicial custody, he was undergoing treatment at the Darjeeling Sadar Hospital,” said Pankaj Prasad, assistant public prosecutor, Darjeeling. Garg was arrested on August 10 in connection with the torching of Tukdah forest bungalow case on August 2.

“We have initiated the legal proceedings for the release of Binay Tamang and others,” said Dinesh Rai of the GJM’s legal cell.

Tamang, who has been elected the new chief executive of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration is presently under Judicial Custody at the Jalpaiguri Correctional Home.

He has been charged in 11 cases, including four cases in Jalpaiguri, three in Kalimpong, two cases in Kurseong and Darjeeling each.

12 hrs Darjeeling bandh after rape case

9:46 PM
RAF jawan has been alleged of rape case with local girl from Ghoom Jourbonglow. Girl has been hospitalized. 

12 hr Darjeeling bandh after rape case
12 hr Darjeeling bandh



The people ghearoed Darjeeling police station and pelted stones to police and CRPF jawans, reciprocating the incident, CRPF opened blank fires and lathicharged.

GJMM students wing has called 12 hours Bandh tomorrow in Darjeeling hills against the alleged rape case and lathi charge on the innocent students and public at Darjeeling.

Six days salary for August for the hill state and GTA employees

9:41 AM
Darjeeling, Sept. 24: The first lot of salaries for hill employees released today showed the state government had stuck to its decision of slashing pay of employees who did not attend work during the statehood strike in the hills.


Six days salary for August for the hill state and GTA employees
A senior government official said only six days’ salary was granted to employees in the district magistrate’s office for the month of August.

“Six days’ salary for the month of August has been deposited in the respective bank accounts of the employees working at the district magistrate’s office. The process for paying the salaries of GTA workers has also started. They will be getting eight days’ pay for August.”

The official explained that GTA employees were getting salary for two more days than the others because August 21 was a paid holiday for Rakhi.

“Also, August 31 (a Saturday) was a working day in GTA offices,” the official said.

The employees of other state government departments are expected to receive six days’ pay.

There are around 20,000 employees in the hills, including 6,500 GTA employees.

Hill workers’ unions said they were thinking of moving court against the government’s decision.

The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha had called a strike in the hills from July 29 to August 14 and again from August 19 to August 30.

The employees, who usually receive the preceding month’s salary on the first week of the following month, had not got their pay because of the hill strike, which was lifted on September 9.

Several employees’ union in the hills, some of which are affiliated to the Morcha and the rest apolitical, have been protesting the government’s decision to deduct salaries.

Most of them have said the employees must not be blamed because there was no transport plying on the strike says, so nobody could have reached their workplace.

B.P. Chhetri, general secretary of the Hill Employees’ Union, an apolitical employee’s forum, said: “We have already written to the state government that the salaries should not be deducted as the situation was extraordinary and that employees could not have attended work during that period.”

On September 15, various hill employees unions also formed a co-ordination committee to put up a united fight on the state government’s move.

The meeting had been attended by representatives of Morcha affiliated unions like the Janmukti Secondary Teachers’ Association, Janmukti Primary Teachers’ Organisation, Janmukti Karmachari Sangatan and other independent unions like the Hill Employees’ Association, Hill Employees and Workers’ Trade Union, municipality employees’ union and court employees’ union from the hills.

Tshering Tamang, convenor of the co-ordination committee said: “We have decided to hold a meeting on September 27 and we will explore all possibilities.” Sources said the employees were mulling going to court against the government’s decision.

R.D. Meena, the principal secretary of the GTA has also convened a meeting on September 27 of the GTA Sabha to elect a new chief executive of the GTA. The Morcha has, however, maintained that they would participate in the election only if the 10 elected GTA Sabha members and the 1100-odd Morcha supporters who have been arrested during the latest phase of the Gorkhaland agitation are released.
 
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