west bengal

Darjeeling Wrecked or Reborn?

The 105-day strike in the hills of Darjeeling dealt a body blow to the tea industry. Disenchanted workers, few of whom reported for work immediately following the end of the strike, will prolong recovery. DARJEELING, West Bengal, India Tea workers are gradually returning to their jobs in the Darjeeling hills following a national holiday,...

3 Darjeeling Tea Gardens Reopen

DARJEELING, West Bengal Three of the 87 gardens idled by a strike and street protests since June 18 reopened Monday. The strike involves 85,000 tea workers. At Goodricke Group’s Springside Tea Estate 70 of the 250 employed at the garden reported for work. Several local schools also opened. Some stores in downtown Darjeeling were...

Darjeeling Strike Continues as Gorkha Split Over Decision to End Confrontation

DARJEELING, West Bengal An agreement to temporarily suspend an indefinite shutdown during talks with West Bengal’s government has split leaders of the Gorkha movement who say they are determined to achieve statehood and will discuss nothing short of that goal. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee last week welcomed Gorkha coalition leader Binay Tamang’s decision to...

Gorkha in Darjeeling Agree to Discussions Ending Tea Strike

DELHI, India On Monday Gorkha leaders of a two-month strike that has shut down the tea industry in Darjeeling showed the first signs of reducing tensions by agreeing to talks scheduled for Aug. 29 in Nabanna. Kalyan Dewan, a leader of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) and head of the co-ordination committee representing striking...

Talks May Quiet Darjeeling Unrest

Talks with organizers of a Darjeeling uprising that has halted tea production in Darjeeling since June 15 may begin soon. Government officials are now open to meeting with a coordinating committee representing several Gorkha groups seeking statehood. Mamata Banerjee, chief minister in West Bengal, previously refused to meet until the strike, nearing two months,...

India Cash Crisis

The well-intentioned effort to curb corruption by enforcing traceability is wreaking havoc in the tea lands of India, where very few workers have bank accounts. The government’s surprise move to no longer accept denominations of 500 and 1000 as legal tender has disrupted the country’s entire economy. The decision voided $250 billion in currency,...

West Bengal Tea Workers Plan Strike

Tea workers in West Bengal, frustrated after nearly a year of wage negotiations, announced they will strike this week. Expect street protests and work disruptions beginning Thursday and a relay strike targeting individual gardens beginning Friday. A long march is planned Feb. 20 if wage issues are not resolved. The joint forum of tea...

Tea Workers Strike

SILIGURI, West Bengal – Several hundred thousand of India’s tea workers halted production at 103 gardens last week to protest drawn out wage negotiations and to press for minimum pay. Shops closed and streets were quiet in three districts for two days as workers sought a new minimum wage in three way talks between...

Small Tea Growers Stage Work Stoppage

West Bengal’s Small Tea Growers (STG) and factory owners continue to struggle over new measures to guarantee tea quality and ensure fair pricing. STG has implemented a work stoppage recently as a result. Factory owners are demanding that at least 65% of the tea brought in for processing consist of finely plucked leaf (two...