The State government decision to abolish `nokkukooli’ (extortion without doing any work) by headload workers and ensure freedom to engage workers in those sectors exempted from the purview of the Headload Workers Act would come into force on Tuesday.
The government issued an order on Monday abolishing the practice and declaring it unlawful. The order seeks to end the practice of certain labour unions providing workers at sites for a commission.
The order was issued on the basis of the discussions Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had with trade union leaders on March 8 to end such practices. Such tendencies were found to be an impediment to the nurturing of a healthy investment milieu and a new work culture.
The order says that labourers would be able to levy only the rates fixed by district labour officers for various tasks.
On engaging workers of registered trade unions for loading and unloading of domestic goods, farm products and such others exempted from the Headload Workers Act, they would have to pay the rates fixed for each sector.
In any circumstance, workers would not be permitted to collect wages without doing any work. Such acts would be deemed illegal and stringent action would be initiated against such workers, the order says.
Workers should wear the identity cards issued by the Headload Workers Welfare Fund Board while doing their work and should issue receipts signed by the convener or the pool leader.
On getting a complaint, assistant labour officers and district labour officers should take action to collect the extra or unlawful wages collected by the workers. The right for a worker to work in a sector should not be deemed as one for demanding high wages and in the event of a dispute, the District Labour Officer should take a decision and could also seek the help of the police if needed. Labour Minister T.P. Ramakrishnan said in a statement here that the order had been issued as part of the government bid to create a labour-investor friendly milieu.