ALAPPUZHA: The five-day-long houseboat strike was called off after a conciliation meeting held in the presence of Tourism Minister A P Anil Kumar at Thiruvananthapuram. The Houseboat Owners Association had suspended their boat service following a tug of war between workers, following the latter's demand for wage revision with immediate effect. According to the decision arrived at the meeting, the monthly wages had been raised to Rs 6850 and the daily bata to Rs 170 from the existing salary of Rs 4500 and daily bata of Rs 125, House Boat Owners Association President Joshi Raji said.
The workers demanded increase in their monthly salary to Rs 10000 and daily bata to Rs 300. Following this, the houseboat owners association suspended its service, leading to huge loss to the industry, as large number of domestic tourists gave up their holiday trip. The meeting also decided to sign an agreement in this regard for two years and the revision would be implemented from July onwards, he added. Besides the Minister, Alappuzha District Congress Committee President A Shukoor, who initiated the conciliating talk, Association President Joshi Raj, representatives of CITU, BMS and INTUC, Boat Operators and Owners Association and All Kerala House Boat Owners and Operators Samithy attended. It was calculated that the industry had lost a sum of over Rs 40 lakh during the five-day strike.