ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Tea Industry Wage Agreement in West Bengal

Tea Industry Wage Agreement in West Bengal VASKAR NANDY Being the president of a small union of tea workers and a minor participant in the latest wage negotiations, I became a signatory to the recent tripartite agreement (agreement) in the tea industry. Imagine then my surprise when a respected commentator on the industry such as Sharit K Bhowmik (September 17) makes some comments on that agreement that are simply without any basis. It is important to clear up the misunderstandings with regard to what is in store for the more than 3,00,000 tea workers of West Bengal. For two long years after the expiry of the last industrywide agreement, the planters had refused to even discuss a wage revision. Only the longest strike in the industry

War against Terrorism:Perspective on Protests

Significantly, the focus of the mass upsurge against the US war on 'terrorism' although visible across the whole Muslim world is in the countries which have large oil reserves or provide a passage for the transport of oil but which continue to be poorly developed. With almost no working class movement, the masses are rallying round the traditional 'ulema' who can understand the mass injustice only in terms of traditional religious symbolism.

Assam- Crisis of Chauvinism

Assam is witnessing an interesting phenomenon: the disintegration of Assamese ethnic chauvinism which has dominated political discourse in the state. This has resulted in the fragmentation of right wing parties, which in a situation of acute economic and political crisis might well pave the way for a return to the more important agenda: economic development and federal reorganisation of the state such that its many ethnic groups all feel empowered.

West Bengal Election

Although the media has been enthusiastically predicting the ouster of the Left Front in the assembly elections in West Bengal, the outcome, in reality, is still uncertain. While Mamata Banerjee may have escaped being tarred by the Tehelka episode, with her resignation further enhancing her image, the sudden shifts in the anti-LF coalitions may have been a gain for the LF. However, the CPI(M)'s limited parliamentarism and loss of vision have meant that many voters irrespective of class or ideology would like nothing better than to see the exit of LF in the state.
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