A large number of backhoe loaders stayed off work on Monday as part of a two-day strike called by the ‘Tiruchi District JCB Owners Association,’ in protest against the hike in prices of fuel, spares and demanding an increase in rentals.
“There has been a steep rise in the prices of diesel, oil, grease, tyres and other spares. The wages of drivers have also gone up. But we are getting the same rental,” said S. Manjunath, president of the association.
Mr. Manjunath said several owners of backhoe loaders, used widely as earth movers and in various construction activities including government/railway projects, have been struggling to repay dues of the vehicle loans. The price of the backhoe loaders have gone up from ₹17 lakh to ₹29 lakh. The wages of drivers, who are skilled labourers, have also risen to ₹1,200 from ₹700 a day.
The association demanded that the rentals of the backhoe loaders be increased to ₹1,300 per hour (from the present ₹1,000) and the minimum charges to ₹3,500 (from the present ₹2,500).
A large number of backhoe loaders were parked at different locations across the district including Sanjeevi Nagar and Musiri, Lalgudi and Vaiyampatti-Manapparai in the district.
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