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Labour officer submits ‘failure report’ over tea estate lockout
 JORHAT, Jan 6 - The Assistant Labour Commissioner of Golaghat, Budhin Hazarika, recently submitted a ‘failure report’ to the Government following several attempts by his office to settle the issue and prevent the indefinite lockout at the Bogidhola Tea Estate of Golaghat district since December 14 last year.

The management of the garden under the Numaligarh Police Outpost declared a lockout following the violence on December 13. More than 10 garden workers were injured after two owners – brothers Sudhir Roy and Samir Roy – reportedly fired at the protesting workers at their bungalow. The workers were protesting against non-payment of bonus. The owners were arrested and remanded to judicial custody.

Hazarika told The Assam Tribune on Friday evening that after the declaration of lockout in the tea estate, his office had made four attempts to resolve the impasse, but the initiatives had failed.

After failing to get any positive result in the first three meetings with some of the parties, the fourth meeting was organised at the Golaghat DC’s conference room on December 30, 2017, to discuss the matter with all the stakeholders.

Hazarika said that the meeting, attended by the additional deputy commissioner of the district administration, ACMS Golaghat unit office-bearers representing the workers’ union, Boby Roy, the elder brother of the arrested Roys representing the owners, and representatives of the North East Tea Association (a tea planters’ body) as the garden is a member of NETA, failed to reach any decision on lifting the lockout.

He said that the workers’ union had put forward a 25-point list of demands to be fulfilled before lifting the lockout, while the management wanted reopening of the garden as soon as possible.

The assistant labour commissioner said that in view of the deadlock continuing on the issue, he has filed a failure report to the Additional Chief Secretary (Labour), MGVK Bhanu, through the Commissioner (Labour), Tapan Sarma, as per the provisions of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, for necessary action.

Hazarika said that now it was up to the government to decide whether to refer the issue to the labour court or undertake any other initiative to resolve the stalemate.

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