Maoists seize three tea estates

Dhankuta, August 1:

The CPN(Maoist)-affiliated tea estate workers today seized three tea estates in Dhankuta district.

The workers affiliated to the All Nepal Workers’ Trade Union Federation (ANWTUF) seized Gurans Tea Estate, Kuwapani Tea Estate and Narayani Tea Estate, alleging the management of the estates of not addressing their demands.

With the objective of piling pressure on the management to meet their 13-point demand, workers of the three tea estates have been staging an agitation for three weeks.

ANWTUF Dhankuta president Gopal Tamang, Maoists’ Dhankuta secretary Kamal, Maoist leader Ghanashyam Kiranti and YCL Dhankuta president Ujjwal Kiranti led the agitating workers to the Gurans Tea Estate, broke open the lock and captured the tea estate.

According to Dhankuta chapter president of the All Nepal Tea Estates’ Association, Narayan Tamang, the agitating workers seized three shuttering machines, a tea cutting machine, a weighing machine, a gear machine, two rolling machines, a tea processing machine and three vehicles.

The workers also captured Kuwapani and Narayani Tea Estates.

We had informed Dhankuta Chamber of Commerce and Industries, DAO, District Police Office and representatives of the three tea estates about the capture, All Nepal Workers’ Trade Union Federation said.

“We had to capture the tea estates to pressure the management of the three estates to meet our demands. If our demands are not met, we will run the tea estates on our own,” Gopal Tamang said.

Meanwhile, the management of the three tea estates said they were ready to hold talks with the workers in Biratnagar or Kathmandu.

Nearly 300 workers are employed in Gurans Tea Estate, which is spread in an area of 2,500 hectares.

Among other things, the ANWTUF has been demanding an end to daily wage system, minimum monthly salary of Rs 3,750 for each worker, 120 days of maternity leave for women,

life and accident insurance policy for all workers, leave on public holidays and permanent appointment for all temporary workers completing 240-days of probation period.