THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on Wednesday sought the help of trade union leaders and labourers to help wipe out the bad impression created about Kerala by practices such as ‘Nokkukooli’.
He was speaking after declaring the state capital ‘Nokkukooli-free’. The initiative is a response to widespread complaints about the practice of demanding ‘Nokkukooli’ by headload workers. The Kerala Headload Workers Welfare Board has also brought out booklets on rates for various works. They are also available on the website of the Labour Commissioner, www.lc.kerala.gov.in. The impression that labourers were hindering the state’s development was a wrong one, Labour Minister Shibu Baby John said.
Better labour conditions prevailed in Kerala when compared to several other states. He said that isolated incidents were, however, being blown out of proportion.
The Labour Department will soon release wage rates for headload work in other districts. Complaints about headload workers demanding ‘nokkukooli’ or rates exceeding the approved ones can be given over the helpline number 155300-3. The helpline is active 24/7. Transport Minister V S Sivakumar, former Labour Minister P K Gurudasan and trade union leaders spoke.