Thiruvananthapuram: At a time when Kerala is trying to become an investment friendly destination by banning the practice of 'Nokku Kooli' which is often used by headload workers to extract exorbitant wages without doing any work, a truck of ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation) was blocked on Sunday by workers demanding 'gawking wages.'

Following a complaint received from ISRO and based on the direction from Kerala Labour Minister V Sivankutty to the District Labour Officer to intervene in the matter, a police team lead by the Commissioner reached the spot.

After the police intervention, workers, who had stopped the truck from entering the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) facility at Thumba, left the place.

Nokku Kooli, which literally means 'gawking wages,' is a euphemism for extortion by organised labour unions in the state under which wages have to be paid to trade union workers for loading and unloading work done by other workers or by machines.

The practice is widely considered a product of militant trade unionism that resulted in frequent altercation between workers and businessmen.

Meanwhile, ISRO sources said the workers demanded Rs 2,000 per tonne as the truck carried sophisticated equipment weighing 184 ton.

On Friday last, the Kerala High Court directed the State Government to eradicate the practice of 'Nokku Kooli.' Justice Devan Ramachandran ordered this while hearing a plea filed by a businessman from Kollam against the practice.

Though, the Kerala Government banned 'Nooku Kooli' on May 1, 2018, this unhealthy practice is being reported from several places in the state.