Pro-Maoist trade union calls off Mechi strike

Biratnagar, August 9:

The pro-Maoist Trade Union, which had been observing a Mechi bandh for the last 24 days, called off the strike from today. The Maoists had called the strike demanding that the Mechi tea estate workers’ 15-point-demand be met. Chandra Sapkota, regional coordinator of the All Nepal Trade Union for Mechi-Koshi zones, said over the telephone that the bandh has been called off from today. The organisation’s press statement will, however, be released only tomorrow. Sapkota said that as the talks with the owners of the tea estates have begun they had decided to call off the strike. He added that the human rights activists had also showed positive overtures for the same. The entire Mechi zone had been hit hard by the strike. Food supplies had not reached the region leading to shortage. The scarcity had gradually been spreading to the districts of Taplejung and Panchthar. Due to the Mechi strike, cash crops could not be brought to the markets. As a result, thousands of quintals of ginger decayed incurring huge losses for the farmers, 10,000 litres of milk went sour, while 80,000 kg of tea went to waste everyday.