Workers demand Rs 30,000 as ‘Nokkukooli’, contractors abandon lorry carrying pipes
Kattakkada: A group of workers interrupted unloading of huge concrete pipes taken for renovation works at the elephant rehabilitation centre in Kottur. The workers demanded Rs 30,000 as ‘Nokkukkooli’ to unload the pipes from the lorry. Following this, the contractors abandoned the vehicle with the load and left the place without unloading. The huge pipes would be unloaded only by using a crane.
The lorry carrying the pipes reached Kottur from Namakkal in Tamil Nadu on Friday morning. As the workers continued to create trouble demanding Nokkukooli, the contractors paid the rent of Rs 7000 to the crane operator and asked to leave.
The lorry took 10 huge pipes to drain water from the canal as part of the road work under KIIFB at the elephant rehabilitation centre. Over 100 workers from various trade unions reached the spot after coming to know about the unloading of the pipes.
The contractors told them that there is no need of workers to unload the pipes and only a crane can be used for it. But the workers were not ready to accept this and created a ruckus demanding Rs 30,000 as Nokkukooli. They declared that they will not allow unloading the pipe without giving Rs 3000 per pipe.
In an attempt of conciliation, a representative of the contractors requested the workers to reduce the amount as Rs 2500 per pipe. But they were not ready to accept this.
Hence, the unloading of the pipe was interrupted.
“We will face a financial loss as additional rent has to be paid for the lorry if it is not sent back within 7 hours from the site. The workers are demanding a huge amount. We did not spend such a huge amount for taking the pipes from Tamil Nadu. We will file a complaint at the labour office regarding this,” said Sherin, representative of contractors and site engineer.
Responding to the row, trade union leaders including CITU Kuttichal unit secretary M Abhilash and INTUC president Sudheer said they did not some across such an incident. Apart from CITU and INTUC, workers under BMS, UTUC and STU trade unions are also working in the region. The leaders asserted that they are clueless about the troublemakers.