Darjeeling, 13th March: Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) leader Binay Tamang, on Monday, stated that the tea plantations have been opened as per the directions of the Home Ministry as it has designated tea and coffee as essential commodities.
"We fully support the central government's efforts to save the tea industry, but to save the industry, it is important to save the workers of the tea gardens. We urge the government to think about the safety of the workers along with the tea industry," Tamang added.
The GJM claims to have chosen to follow all government directives and not politicize decisions during such an hour of crisis. However, when opening a garden or hiring a laborer, the tea garden managements have been asked to satisfy the following party demands:
- The garden should be completely sterilized (sterilized)
- Social Distance must be adhered to while working
- Masks, globes should be provided to each worker
- Wages of the laborers working during the lockdown period should be increased
- If a worker dies due to COVID-19 during the lockdown, death insurance of Rs 10 lakh should be provided by the management and if any worker is unwell from the infection then he/she should be provided with Rs. 2 lakh for treatment expenses.
- Workers should have food security.
- The latest order issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs of the Government of India on April 11, 2020, must be accepted by all the owners of the tea gardens.