Loading, unloading laws in force

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM Nov. 13. The Kerala Loading and Unloading (Regulation of Wages and Restriction of Unlawful Practices) Act which received the Governor's assent on August 29 has been brought into force all over the State from November 5 by the State Government.

The law is meant to curb some undesirable practices that have arisen in the loading and unloading sector over a period of time because of lack of regulation.

It prohibits extortionary, intimidatory or other unlawful practices connected with loading and unloading and transportation of goods and articles both in the domestic and non-domestic sectors.

Under the law, the employer shall have the right to carry out loading and unloading work for domestic purpose by himself or by employing workers of his choice.

The definition of domestic purpose has been made broad enough to cover shifting, including the transportation of furniture, personal effects and other household articles for domestic use, work in connection with the shifting of articles of a dwelling house of a person, including work connected with religious or social or public function and cutting, removal, shifting and transportation of trees and wood for personal use.

Domestic purpose also covers construction, repairing and maintenance of house, including the shifting and transportation of construction materials, equipment, machinery for personal use, dismantling, demolition and shifting of old building materials or equipment other than those covered by non-domestic purpose and including its transportation, shifting and transportation of animals for personal use, etc.

The law lists 13 unlawful practices which include intimidation. The penalties include imprisonment for up to two years and or fine up to Rs. 10,000.

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