Nepal’s Trade Unions Call for Nation Wide Strike
Posted by D and I Consulting on August 2, 2011
This article comes from MyRepublica.com.
Nationwide industry strike from Sunday
KATHMANDU, July 31: Demanding immediate implementation of the minimum wages fixed by the government, ten agitating trade unions have announced a nation-wide industrial strike from Sunday.
However, they made it clear that the strike wouldn´t be enforced in the firms which have already adopted the government-fixed salary, allowance and wages.
Most of the enterprises in Birgunj-Simara industrial corridor, three in Hetauda industrial estate, about half-a-dozen in Biratnagar and almost all employers in Butwal industrial estate have agreed to provide wages agreed by the government. After the agitation of ten trade unions, the government had hiked the minimum monthly pay to Rs 6,200 and daily wages to Rs 231.
With a one-point demand, Maoist-affiliated All Nepal Trade Union Federation (ANTUF) led by Badri Bajgain and Lal Dhoj Nembang and other trade unions affiliated with Madesh-based parties are on strike since July 22 after Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) refused to implement the wage pact agreed by the government.
“We have withdrawn our protests in the industrial estates where employers have agreed to implement the government-set remuneration. Strike will put further pressure on other employers who have been reluctant to increase the pay,” Bajgain told Republica on Sunday. He, however, said the talks with employers would continue even on Sunday simultaneously with the strikes.
Agitating trade unions withdrew their protest programs on Friday after entrepreneurs based in Morang-Sunsari industrial corridor agreed to hike their pay.
The trade unions, including two factions of the Maoist-affiliated All Nepal Trade Union Federation (ANTUF), led by Badri Bajagain and Lal Dhoj Nembang have launched protests since July 22 after the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) issued a circular to employers to stick to the wage structure it agreed with big three trade unions four months ago.
Sticking to its agreement with three major trade unions — Maoist-led All Nepal Trade Union Federation (ANTUF), General Federation of Nepalese Trade Unions (GFONT) and Nepal Trade Union Congress (Independent) — FNCCI has been denying the government-announced new wage structure.
FNCCI and Confederation of Nepalese Industries (CNI) had signed 11-point agreement with the big three trade unions on March 24 including hiking minimum monthly remuneration to Rs 6,100 and daily wage to Rs 226 along with provisions for social security and a four-year commitment of Industrial Peace.
Pashupati Murarka, chairman of FNCCI´s Employers´ Council, said employers will not follow the wage structure announced by the government which the Supreme Court has stayed.
However, employers have started reaching agreements with agitating workers stating that they have no option but to accept the demands of the workers, saying central level business leaders are not showing seriousness in resolving the problem.