Aylabari tea estate announces lock-out

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Silchar, Sep 26 (UNI) The management of Aylabari tea estate in Karimganj district of Assam has announced lock-out following dispute over the quantum of puja bonus.

The action of the management of the tea garden, owned by Kolkata-based Goenka Tea Trading Company Pvt Ltd, left about 550 workers jobless during the festive season.

Karimganj Deputy Commissioner Bhupendra Nath Sharma today said the situation in the garden was under control and the management was busy negotiating with the workers' unions throughout the day.

However, the stalemate was yet to be sorted out, he added.

The workers on Wednesday gharoed the manager of the garden, demanding 20 per cent bonus. The situation turned violent as the irate workers ransacked the property of the garden when manager P N Singh expressed his inability to fulfil the demand of the workers for payment of puja bonus at a rate of 20 per cent.

The manager said the management was ready to pay this year's bonus at a rate of eight per cent on line with last year.

All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC)'s Karimganj District President Chandan Chakrabortee said if the management failed to pay the bonus at a rate of 13 per cent, which was agreed upon, the workers of Aylabari tea estate will stage demonstration during the puja period.

The DC (Karimganj) said, according to earlier decision, all the tea gardens in the district, 22 in number, should complete the disbursement of bonus by September 25.

He said the process of disbursement of bonus in all other gardens of the district was progressing peacefully.

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