DARJEELING: Offices of Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council opened today after remaining closed since the 6th of November. Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council which presently employs more than 6,000 workers, all in contract or temporary basis, is reeling from the demand of ‘permanent jobs’ by the workers. Janmukti Asthahi Karmachari Sanghathan (Janmukti Temporary Workers Union) a labour union affiliated to Gorkha Janmukti Morcha had called for ‘pen down’ from the 6th of November. However, on the 9th of November Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, in order to offer more concentrated support to the Union’s movement, declared for ‘indefinite strike at the offices of Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council.’
“We have taken back the indefinite strike from 26th November to 7th December. We had also suspended our ‘pen down’ movement from the 22nd of November,” said Machendra Subba, Vice President, Janmukti Temproary Workers Union. He requested all the DGHC employees to attend their duty from today.
Inquired about the future ‘course of action’ of the union, Subba said, “We have been meeting with our leaders at the High Command of the Party (Gorkha Janmukti Morcha). If the Government keeps on with its stubborn attitude we might have to take some stern action. However, what that course of action might is not yet fixed and we have been discussing it with our leaders at the party. In the next four or five years something might come out from theese meetings.”
It may be noted that a Tripartite Meeting between Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council Caretaker Bihari Lal Meena, Principal Secretary Rajesh Pandey, Gorkha Janmukti Morcha and Janmukti Temporary Workers Union had taken place at the DGHC Secretariat Lal Kothi on the 7th of June this year. In the said meeting the DGHC Caretaker Meena had said that it would take at least one year to inspect the papers of each individual DGHC employee and offer them permanent jobs. Meena has also declared raising the salary of the employees by 1000 Rupees.
Speaking on the said meeting Machendra Subba said, “No one knows what happened to those promises.”
When inquired about the promises made on the 7th of June, DGHC Caretaker Meena said, “We have sent all the documents and details to the Hill Affairs Department at Kolkata. All the decision on this matter will be taken by the State Government.”
Referring to the expenses made out of DGHC Development Fund, Meena said, “Of the 121 Crore Rupees in the DGHC Development Fund only 20 to 25 Crores have been spent.”
Gorkha Janmutki Morcha General Secretary Roshan Giri said, “We have already sent a memorandum to the State Government requesting the Government to immediately act to the woes of the DGHC workers.”
Giri further said, “No new tender will be released within the 16 days of the opening of the DGHC offices.”