Kolkata, June 10 (IANS) The joint forum of trade unions of the tea industry in north Bengal on Saturday called for a two-day industrial strike from Monday (June 12), demanding implementation of minimum wage among other things. Also Read - West Bengal: 13 Dead in Road Accident Due to Fog in Jalpaiguri District

The forum, comprising 24 trade unions, also called for a 12-hour general strike on June 13 in the tea garden-based areas of West Bengal like Jalpaiguri, Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Alipurduar, Islampur and Mekhliganj. Also Read - 7th Pay Commission Latest News: Dearness Allowance, Salary Hiked For These State Govt Employees

However, a trade union — backed by the ruling Trinamool Congress — will be opposing the strike. Also Read - Will Never Bow My Head Before BJP, Says Mamata Banerjee, Calls Saffron Party More Dangerous Than Maoists

“After a failed tripartite meeting held on June 9 between trade unions, tea garden owners, the State Labour Minister and Labour Commissioner, we have decided to go on strike,” Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) state General Secretary Anandi Sahu told reporters here.

The trade unions have been demanding the implementation of minimum wage, reinforcement of entitlement for tea workers and distribution of land holding among tea workers for residential purpose, said Ramen Pandey, state president of Congress-backed Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC).

According to the plantation act, tea labourers are entitled to subsidised rations along with cash wages, Sahu said. “Currently, they receive Rs 132.50 daily wage in cash while they are deprived of the subsidised rations,” he alleged.

“We have demanded Rs 660 per worker per month as part of entitlements (ration),” Pandey said.

This is published unedited from the IANS feed.