Sunday, October 2, 2011

Call to punish ultra-leftist trade unions

Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) has urged the government to take legal action against the ultra-leftist and Madhesi trade unions that are protesting the landmark agreement between government, trade unions and employers on Friday. Eight trade unions — including Badri Bajagai faction of All Nepal Trade Union Federation (ANTUF) — have threatened to go on strike immediately after Dashain against the decision of Central Labour Advisory Committee.
All Nepal Trade Union Federation (ANTUF) is the sister wing of UCPN-Maoist that is leading the government currently.
The committee headed by Prime Minister Dr Babu Ram Bhattarai as labour minister held on Friday had endorsed March 24 agreement between FNCCI and three major trade unions – General Federation of Nepalese Trade Unions (GEFONT), National Trades Union Congress and ANTUF. The Labour advisory committee meeting has decided to bring draft of Social Security Bill within three month and table in legislative parliament.
But the Prime Minister Bhattarai’s own cadres are against the agreement and threatened to go to street after Dashain.
The 11-point agreement had provisions of ‘No Work No Pay’, ‘Hire and Fire’, and ban on strike for the period of four years, including the social security of the employees.
The umbrella organisation of private sector has also urged the trade unions and employers to take the decision as positively as it would help build better labour-management relation.
“The government has endorsed March 24 agreement in good spirit for the industrial growth, so all the parties should take it positively,” the FNCCI said, showing serious concern on forceful closure of National Shop and other industries from unsatisfied trade unions. “The country’s economy is on the verge of collapse,” it said, asking trade unions to be responsibly.
The Bajagai led ANTUF faction — close to UCPN-Maoist leader Kiran Baidhya — and seven other trade unions close to Madhesi parties have been demanding not to endorse ‘No Work No Pay’ and four years long industrial peace period. “It violates individual rights to protest,” Bajagai said, urging the government — led by his own party — to correct the decision and enforce April 16 agreement signed between Ministry of Labour and Transport Management. Though, there is little difference between two agreements in minimum wage, the March 24 agreement is more progressive as it has included social security for workers.
The March 24 agreement has hiked workers monthly salary to Rs 6,100 and the later agreement had added Rs 100 more. In daily wage, two agreements have difference of five rupees as April 16 agreement has hiked daily wage to Rs 231.


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