Boat workers and owners on Tuesday held talks to end impasse over fishing following strike by the former demanding 12 per cent share in fish catch.

The talks, which began after 11-day cease work agitation by hundreds of boat workers at the Fishing Harbour, remained inconclusive.

During the first round of talks, the boat owners justified their decision to resort to austerity measures due to increasing cost of fishing and depleting catch. However, during the bargaining, they agreed to offer 10 per cent of the catch and 50 per cent of dry fish to the boat workers as a stop-gap arrangement till they start making profits. The owners promised that they would offer them bonus once they earn profits.

The workers, on the other hand, insisted on total say over dry fish made out of miscellaneous fish by the crew members and restoration of giving them 12 per cent of the catch towards their remuneration. The reason for stand-off between the owners and workers was the losses suffered by the owners during current fishing season and their decision to reduce offering 12 per cent of catch to eight to nine per cent and refusal to give them any say over dry fish.

Earlier, the workers used to take the entire consignment of miscellaneous fish, considered waste, after converting it into dry fish. The talks were held between president of Dolphin Boat Operators' Welfare Association president Ch. Satyanarayana Murthy, AP Mechanised Boat Operators' Association president P.Ch. Appa Rao, and AITUC-affiliated Visakhapatnam Fishing Harbour Workers' Union general secretary J.D. Naidu.

Keywords: AITUC

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