Committee to be formed to look into Assam tea estate lockout

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Guwahati, March 4: Assam Assembly Speaker Hitendra Nath Goswami on Wednesday said a committee will be formed to assess the situation that has arisen out of the lockout at Katikhira tea estate in Karimganj district.
“I have taken this issue seriously. I will form a committee to look into the matter,” Goswami said.
Tea Tribe Welfare Minister Sanjoy Kishan, while replying to a query by Congress MLA Rajdeep Goala during the Question Hour, informed the House that reconciliation efforts have failed due to non-cooperation by the management of the tea estate.
The District Authority and Labour Welfare Department has been trying to settle the dispute between the management and the workers of the tea estate, where lockout was declared on September 25 last year, he said.
“Though several rounds of conciliation meetings were scheduled, the entire effort failed due to non-cooperation by the management,” Kishan said.
The management has attended only one meeting against two notices and insisted that the workers agree to certain conditions for lifting the lockout, he said.
“The workers did not agree with the terms and conditions offered by the management… the report under Section 12(4) of the Industrial Dispute Act is submitted by the conciliation officer. The dispute is referred for adjudication,” the minister said.
He informed the House that the assistant labour commissioner has submitted a report for issuing prohibitory order against the lockout and it has already been notified.
As there is no provision to provide relief to workers under the Industrial Dispute Act, the state government will try to engage them in MGNREGA work and provide them free water and medical facilities, he added. (PTI)