Tamil Nadu: Fishers' assns prioritise workers' welfare, call off strike

Owing to the strike, the fishing business in Rameswaram took a hit.
Representative Image.
Representative Image.(Photo | EPS)

RAMANATHAPURAM: Fishermen's associations in Rameswaram, in Ramanathapuram district, have temporarily called off the strike against the imprisonment of five Indian fishermen by Sri Lanka, considering the welfare of over 15,000 allied workers. The strike that lasted for nine days left workers in distress, with some seeking alternative employment in Kottaipattinam and Kerala.  

Following the arrest and imprisonment of five Indian Tamil fishermen by Sri Lanka, the fishermen's associations in Rameswaram called for an indefinite strike from February 17, with members also going on a hunger strike. After Ramanathapuram MLA assured to fulfil their demands and provide compensation to the affected families, the association decided to temporarily withdraw the strike.

According to the fisheries' department, there are over 400 mechanised boats in Rameswaram, which record a daily average catch of over 400 tonnes in the shore town alone. Owing to the strike, the fishing business in Rameswaram took a hit.

"There are about 8,000 fishermen, including boat drivers in Rameswaram, though some have taken up work at Kottaipattinam and Kerala for the time being. But many continue to remain unemployed. Apart from the fishermen, there are nearly 15,000 allied workers who are involved in works like loading, ice bar manufacturing, and local sale, among others. Due to the strike, many workers have been faced with distress since they are without work for the past nine days," said CR Senthilvel, state secretary, AITUC's fishermen's wing.

Senthilvel added that in addressing the prolonging issues, the union government could provide deep sea boats at a subsidised rate, which could reduce big catch fishing in the palk strait. 

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