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DIBRUGARH: The BCPL Contractual Workers’ Union on Wednesday carried out a hunger strike in front of the Brahmaputra Cracker and Polymer Limited (BCPL) at Lepetkata here over the issue of the wage hike. 

The contractual workers have been seeking a hike in daily wages for the last several months citing the rising cost of living. However, despite three meetings with the BCPL management over the issue, no consensus could be reached on the wage issue which resulted in Wednesday’s protest. 

The striking workers also alleged that two of their Union leaders have been restricted by the BCPL authorities from entering the BCPL campus.

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There are 2,300 contractual workers employed working for BCPL at its three units located at Lepetkata, Duliajan and Lakwa. On February 5, 2016, the BCPL was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“Since last 10 years, there has been no hike in wages. We are just paid the minimum wages. We had 3 meetings (Memorandum of Settlement) with the BCPL management but nothing came out of it. The general secretary and assistant general secretary of our union have been barred from entering the BCPL campus by the authorities. Their entry passes have been cancelled”, a worker said.

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Another worker stated, “We demand that they be allowed to join work otherwise we will be forced to go on a long strike which we don’t want. During difficult times like the anti-CAA agitation and Covid-19, the contractual workers did their duties without a single day fail. Now it becomes the duty of the authorities to address the concerns of the workers especially when the price of essential products are touching an all-time high.”

Avik Chakraborty

Avik Chakraborty is Northeast Now Correspondent in Dibrugarh. He can be reached at: babs8oct@gmail.com