The state-wide dawn-to-dusk strike called by the Hotel and Restaurants Association on Friday was complete in the district. According to the association leaders, the strike will continue intensively if the government do not withdraw the recent LPG price hike.
Hotels remained shut across the city making a strong statement against the sudden hike. Kerala Hotel and Restaurant Association Secretary Jose Mohan said that almost all of the small and medium sized hotels were shut down as part of the protest.
“We did not force anyone to join the strike. They shut down hotels by their own to mark protest against the steep hike in LPG prices,” said Jose Mohan.
According to the association members, over 1.25 lakh hotels and restaurants joined the protests across Kerala on Friday. “The support for strike from individual hoteliers shows nothing but the gravity of the situation. The hike is nearly `400 which will almost double the per day expenditure of hoteliers.
The industry here is already wrecked by price rise of essential commodities and a further increase in LPG prices will force us to leave the business itself. Or else, we will have to increase the price tag of food materials. The government must open its eyes,” he said.
He added that to make it even for the LPG price rise, the hoteliers would have to increase food prices by 22 to 50 per cent which was unpractical. If hotels increase price of a tea by 22 per cent who will drink tea from hotels then, he asked. The association members further said that more strikes would follow if the government did not revert the hike.
The city unit of Bakers Association conducted a symbolic protest on Friday.
LPG cylinders were displayed before the bakeries in the city to mark the protest. The city unit of Kerala Hotel and Restaurant Association also conducted a protest march from Panampilly Nagar to Indian Oil Corporation on Friday.
The march demanded a complete withdrawal of LPG price hike and the 14.5 per cent VAT imposed on hotels. Kerala Hotel and Restaurant Association Secretary Jose Mohan inaugurated the protest and district secretary Aseese, City unit convenor K K Faisal, treasurer P A Babu, district joint secretary Rais and North unit Secretary Savior Anjanikal addressed the gathering.