Jalpaiguri (WB): The 12-hour tea workers strike in the Terai-Dooards region of North Bengal scheduled for Thursday was postponed in view of the tripartite meeting with the state government on August 4.

The tripartite meeting in Kolkata would be held between the state government, the tea garden owners and the representatives of tea workers, who are demanding a hike in tea wages, said Sukra Munda, president of Progressive Tea Workers Union (PTWU), the Akhil Bharatiya Adivasi Vikas Parishad labour union.

Besides, the Joint Labour Commissioner of North Bengal had also requested the union not to hold the strike in view of the proposed meeting.

Meanwhile, the regular plucked tea leaves were not being allowed to be taken out of the gardens in the area for the fourth day on Thursday by major trade unions like UTUC, CITU and INTUC as well as PTWU.

The trade unions are also holding hour-long gate meetings everyday.
Prabir Bhattacharya, India Tea Association, Dooars branch secretary, said the losses being incurred everyday would make it impossible to pay daily wages and provide weekly rations to the workers.

During the day work at the Debpara tea estate at Banarhat in Jalpaiguri district was suspended following the heckling of the garden manager by tea workers over local issues on Wednesday.

Notice announcing the suspension of work was found pasted on the gates of the tea garden, which employs 1108 workers, Thursday morning.