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i-maritime News Letter

Houseboat crew call off strike - 2012-06-25

The strike by houseboat crew in Alappuzha and Kumarakom has been called off after a conciliation meeting held by the State Tourism Minister, Mr A.P.Anil Kumar. Following the withdrawal of the 5-day strike, houseboat operations returned to normal in the region since Saturday. According to the decision arrived at the meeting convened in Thiruvananthapuram, the monthly wages of the crew have been raised to Rs 6,850 and the daily batta to Rs 170 from the existing salary of Rs 4,500 and daily batta of Rs 125. The workers had demanded a monthly salary of Rs 10,000 and daily batta of Rs 300. It was also decided at the meeting to sign an agreement in this regard, valid for two years, and the wage revision would be implemented with effect from July 1. The agreement will be signed before the District Labour Officer in Alappuzha on Monday.

The Kerala Houseboat Owners Association had suspended its 900-odd boat service following a stand-off between workers demanding wage revision with immediate effect. The strike had virtually crippled the backwater tourism, affecting arrivals of both foreign and domestic tourists visiting these two destinations. The suspension of houseboat operations also led to a substantial loss to the hospitality industry in the region, especially for home stays. According to the owners’ association, it is estimated that the industry lost nearly Rs 1 crore during the five-day strike.

Source : Hindu Business Line