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Home  »       focus »      Saga of Migrant Labourers in Kerala »   
Wages, a major attraction for workers 
Jisha G. Nair
 Story Dated: Friday, February 15, 2013 17:27 hrs IST 
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Kottayam: Various studies on migrant workers have identified some common reasons for the high influx of labourers from other states. High wages, rapid urbanisation and shortage of skilled workers  make Kerala an attractive destinations for other state labourers. “Malayalees are reluctant to do  manual labour due to their white collar job attitude. “The vacuum created by the scarcity of local skilled labour makes room for other state workers,” says G. Radhakrishnan Nair, District Labour Officer, Kottayam, who has observed the issue of migrant workers closely.

Employers prefer workers from other states as they demand wages much lower than that of their native counterparts. When a native worker demands Rs 700 to Rs 750 for a piece of work, the same job can be done by a migrant labourer for an amount of Rs 500 to 600.

“Though the quality of work is comparatively low, the migrant workers are more punctual, dedicated and hard working, ”Radhakrishnan Nair observes. In addition to high wages, better living conditions in the state including law and order make Kerala an attractive option for labourers. “They are very much fond of the ethnic food, climate and cleanliness of the state,” he added.

Owing to notion that educated people shouldn't do manual labour, the youth in the state shy away from jobs involving manual tasks. A higher educational background has persuaded Malayalee to chase white collar jobs in profession such as banking, engineering or management anywhere in the world.  These  factors have resulted in the huge influx of other states' work force into Kerala to eke out a living.
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