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Jalpaiguri tea garden suspends operation, 1,500 left jobless- The New Indian Express

By PTI

JALPAIGURI: The Saili Tea Estate in West Bengal’s Jalpaiguri district suspended operations on Monday, leaving around 1,500 people jobless ahead of the festive season, officials said.

The management put up a suspension of work notice at the main gate in the morning, workers at the tea estate said.

Negotiations were underway for the Durga Puja bonus and the operations were suspended amid the talks, they said.

The management refused to give 20 per cent bonus to the workers as being given by the other tea gardens, they added. The workers were offered 15.5 per cent bonus, which led to protests at the tea garden a few days back.

“When we arrived for work in the morning, we saw the suspension of work notice at the gate. Also, the garden officials have left, following which protests started,” said Swapna Pradhan, a worker of the tea estate.

Officials of the Malbazar police station were at the spot to tackle the situation. The workers demanded resumption of operations and payment of 20 per cent bonus, threatening to intensify their agitation.

“If the administration does not take immediate action, we will boycott the next year’s assembly elections. We do not get any benefit, neither do we get fair pay. We need 20 per cent bonus and the garden has to be opened before the Durga Puja,” said Shanta Kujur, another worker at the garden.

The garden authorities could not be reached for comments.

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Overnight Health Care: House Democrats slam pharma CEOs for price hikes driven by revenue, executive bonuses | Ex-FDA employees express worries to Congress over politicization of vaccines

Welcome to Wednesday night’s Overnight Health Care, where we’re waiting to see if there’s going to be a deal on a new COVID-19 relief package.



a man wearing a suit and tie: Overnight Health Care: House Democrats slam pharma CEOs for price hikes driven by revenue, executive bonuses | Ex-FDA employees express worries to Congress over politicization of vaccines | Fauci said his mask stance was 'taken out of context' by Trump


© Washington Examiner/Pool
Overnight Health Care: House Democrats slam pharma CEOs for price hikes driven by revenue, executive bonuses | Ex-FDA employees express worries to Congress over politicization of vaccines | Fauci said his mask stance was ‘taken out of context’ by Trump

Top House Democrat: Parties ‘much closer’ to a COVID deal ‘than we’ve ever been’

The head of the House Democratic Caucus said Wednesday that the negotiators seeking an emergency coronavirus deal are “much closer” to a deal than they have been at any point during the long weeks of on-again-off-again talks.

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) pointed to comments by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin indicating a willingness to embrace $1.5 trillion in new stimulus spending – a number on par with the bipartisan relief package offered last week by the Problem Solvers Caucus – noting that that figure is far closer to the Democrats’ $2.2 trillion package than Republicans have previously backed.

After almost two months of stalled talks, Mnuchin and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) have resumed the negotiations this week by phone. In some sign that progress is being made, Mnuchin met with Pelosi in the Speaker’s office on Wednesday afternoon.

Read more here.

House Democrats slam pharma CEOs for price hikes driven by revenue, executive bonuses

An explosive staff report from the Democrats on the House Oversight Committee found that the CEOs of Teva and Celgene raised drug prices exponentially for no reason other than to boost profits and inflate executives’ bonuses.

Oversight Democrats at a hearing on Wednesday pressed those CEOs, and put them on the defensive.

Highlights: Internal documents obtained by the committee found Celgene raised the price