Nepal: Employers call on govt to crush strike
Posted by Alastair on March 11, 2011
As Maoist workers dig in for a fight, factory owners are offering a 21.4 percent wage increase. This has been rejected, the workers demand their wages be doubled – and the capitalists are now calling for the state to intervene.
From The Himalayan Times
Industries in Hetauda seek security cover
HETAUDA: Hetauda Industry Organisation today moved the Makawanpur District Administration Office demanding security. The move comes a day after Unified CPN-Maoist-aligned All Nepal Industrial Trade Union enforced indefinite closure of the industries located in Hetauda Industrial Area since yesterday.
HIO Chairman Rishiram Ghimire said keys of all the industries will be submitted to DAO tomorrow. “HIO today requested the DAO in writing to provide security to all the industries located in the industrial area,” Ghimire informed. Chief District Officer Dinesh Bhattarai said his office would do the needful to provide security to the industries.
According to Ghimire, with the closure of more than 65 industries in the area, everyday loss is registered at Rs 8 crores. Additionally, more than 5,000 workers have been hit hard.
Ghimire made it clear that workers must call off the strike for negotiations. “Talks can be held only after the workers withdraw their strike; or else we will wait for a government decision,” said Ghimire.
While some workers are expecting that the closure will pile pressure on industry management to hike the salary, others see it as a wrong approach. Lalkrishana Pyakurel, a worker at Unilever Nepal, said industrial shutdown in no way was the solution. Bishnu Shrestha, a labourer at Nepal Ikarat Engineering Company, however, said industry closure would benefit the workers. “I fully back the protest,” he said. Durga Syangbo of Makawana Biscuit Factory said though the demand was justifiable, solution should have been sought through dialogue.
Meanwhile, more than 500 industries located in Sunsari-Morang Corridor were ground to a halt for half an hour from 9:30 am today after workers refused to work. More than 50,000 people are working in the area. Labour leader Tejlal Karna said workers would shut all the industries in the corridor from 10 am to 12 pm tomorrow.
Bijaya Sarawagi, executive member of the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, said it was government’s duty to determine workers’ minimum wage.
HIO Chairman Ghimire said the industries will ultimately be closed if workers’ demand of Rs 10,000 a month salary was met.