Agitating All Nepal Revolutionary Federation of Trade Unions — the labour wing of breakaway CPN-Maoist faction — has turned into vandalism curtailing the right to economic freedom — the basic human rights — of employers and the other workers.
The trade union cadres today vandalised office of Chaudhary Group and a herbal research centre of Lomus Group saying they 'disobeyed the two-day strike’.
Workers of the trade union entered research centre at Gonggabu and vandalized the equipment there, said chairman of the Lomus Group Pradeep Jung Pandey, who is also the vice president of Federation of Nepal Chambers of Commerce (FNCCI). "They would not even listen us," he said, adding that there were some six-seven researchers in the office at the time.
Similarly, the agitating workers also vandalised Senepa-based office of Chaudhary Group, one of the country's leading business houses. "A group threw stone at our office," said a top officer at the group.
Though, there is a minor damage only, he added.
The CPN-Maoist affiliated trade union has announced two-day industrial strike against the proposed minimum wage fixed by the Minimum Wage Fixation Committee.
The committee that has representatives from employers, employees and the government had — after marathon rounds of talks — finalised a monthly salary of Rs 8,000 from earlier Rs 6,200, and daily wage of Rs 318 from Rs 231, on May 28.
But the CPN-Maoist affiliated trade union has been opposing the hike calling it insufficient. It has been asking for a minimum monthly salary of Rs 15,000. "Our protest is against minimum wage hike," aid coordinator of the federation Ramdeep Acharya. "Those, who disobey the strike are feudal and will be responsible for the damage of their industries," he said, adding that they had already warned not to open industries for two days.
According to him, the strike will not stop until the government revokes the proposed minimum wage.
Meanwhile, Butwal Industrial District has urged the trade union to call their strike back and solve the dispute through talks. "Trade unions should seek remedy through pressurising the authorities not closing the industries that are the bread and butter of other workers, who want to work," it said.
The politicisation of trade unions — that has been universially formed for collective bargaining — has been used as a tool to bargain with the government curtailing the right to economic freedom of other workers and employers in Nepal that has been witnessing low manufacturing output over the last one decade.According to Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS), the contribution of the manufacturing sector is projected to drop to 6.17 per cent in the current fiscal year from 8.50 in 2001-02 on regular hours of power outage, frequent labour strikes, and higher cost of operation.