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article imageAmerican artist destroys work to protest against labour unions

By George Varkey     Apr 5, 2015 in World
Kochi - An American artist who arrived at the South Indian city of Kochi to participate in an art festival destroyed his creations after the trade unions demanded an exorbitant amount of money to load his art work into a vehicle.
His protest against the trade unions came in the form of self-destroying some terracotta works he made. This act was recorded and uploaded on Youtube, which also has him stating that trade unions in the state have destroyed business.
In a few hours the video became viral.
The artist Waswo X Waswo was a participant at the Kochi-Muziris Biennale, an art festival in Kerala. According to him, the trade unions demanded Rs 10,000 ($200) to move six boxes of art to a vehicle parked just 10 feet afar.
Waswo, who made the country his home after falling in love with India, said that the trade unions in Kerala act as a mob demanding huge money. “They threatened that my works will be vandalized if I refuse to go with what they were offering. That is not something that an artist would like to hear. Eventually they brought down the rate to Rs 5000 ($100), but I decided not to support them.”
Other artists at the venue too claimed that they have been witnessing similar demands by trade unions.
Titled "Nokku Kooli," which can be literally translated to "Wage to Stand and Watch," is the amount demanded by trade unions to stand and watch the loading and unloading of good in their territory, particularly when they are not hired for the job. Though the state government had prohibited this practice of extortion, the practice continues unhindered in this Indian state which democratically elected the first communist government in the world.
Meanwhile, all of the trade unions in Kochi have denied involvement in the incident.
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