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

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CONGRESS PARTY-Old and New Faithful

garden youth are faced with an uncertain future. Moreover, although there is much talk about welfare and other schemes for the workers, the actual living conditions of the workers in most of the tea-gardens have deteriorated. Many of the laws aimed at making life bearable for the .tea- garden workers are still on paper and, in the absence of a strong, militant trade union movement, the workers have not been able to wrest from the management many concessions. Till the Janata came to power, the INTUC controlled the vast majority of unions in Assam's tea-gardens. On Janata's coming to power, the INTUC- controlled Asom Chah Mazdoor Sangh tried to put on an independent image but continued very much to be run by the same set of politicians and trade- unionists. Except in a few pockets in Cachar and in Dibrugarh District, Left unions like the CITU have not been able to make much headway. This is one sphere where over the years the Left parties could have built up a strong trade union movement. Today there is growing disillusionment about the role of the recognised trade unions and in many gardens groups of workers have started acting on their own without being guided by their unions. This partly explains why the recognised trade unions have been caught unawares by the recent incidents of violence.

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