It is vacation time for migrant labourers working in the construction sector in the state as the indefinite strike launched by the owners of tipper lorries and earth movers continues to be unresolved.
And, many of these migrant labourers have left for their native place as worksites have come to a standstill. Despite the financial loss incurred owing to the disruption of work, what worries the builders is the fact that many of these hardworking labourers returning home.
Antony Kunnel, president, Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Associations of India(CREDAI) said the strike has paralysed the sector in all sense. “With the strike continuing, labourers have started going home. Usually, they come asnd go in a group. Once they leave, the minimum period spent at home is three weeks to one month though they tell us they would be back soon,” Antony said.
Alex Perumalil, Kerala chairman, Builders Association of India (BAI), voiced the same opinion. ‘’It is a known fact that the construction sector in the state depend on labourers from other states. With work coming to a standstill, they have started catching trains to their native places. The possibility for them to return soon is very less,” Alex said and added that work has come to a stansstill in almost 90 per cent of sites.
“Months from December to May is the best season to carry out construction work. Even readymix concrete is not available now. Since the strike was launched without prior notice, builders did not store enough materials,’’ he said. Meanwhile, the Tipper and Earth Movers Samiti leaders have made it clear that they would intensify the ongoing strike if the government fails to take up their demands at the earliest, in a favourable manner .“The government should conduct an expert study before introducing reforms in the mining sector,” said Samiti secretary Rajan Diamond. With the strike entering its second phase, protest marches would be taken out to the district administration headquarters on Monday. The action council would stage a hunger strike in front of the Secretariat from January 25.