HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: Trade unions today opposed ‘Hire and Fire’ and ‘No Work: No Pay’, neglecting their last year’s agreement with employers.
Monopoly of employers is not acceptable to us, they said in a three-day National Labour and Employment Conference that started here today.
On Mach 24, the three major trade unions — General Federation of Nepalese Trade Unions (GEFONT), All Nepal Trade Union Federation (ANTUF) and Nepal Trade Union Congress (NTUC) — had agreed to implement the provisions at the cost of social security to workers.
Employers had also agreed to contribute in social security fund but they also have not done anything in this regard.
“As employers are not obeying the agreement, it is not mandatory for the trade unions to accept ‘Hire and Fire’ and ‘No Work: No Pay’,” said president of GEFONT Bishnu Rimal. According to him, only the workers are contributing in the fund since last three years but the employers have not contributed anything. “We don’t know how much money has been collected from workers and where it is deposited,” he said, urging the government to focus on informal sector also while introducing the new labour law and regulation.
“A large section of workforce is involved in the informal sector,” he said, asking the government to include them in the new labour law.
According to Central Bureau of Statistics, the country has about 11.7 million workforce and only 1.8 million are in the formal sector and around 3.5 million are in foreign jobs. Others are either unemployed or in informal sector but there is no proper record.
ANTUF leader Shalikram Jammakattel, on the occasion, urged employers and the government to enforce social security provisions for better industrial environment. “Better social protection helps build better industrial environment,” he said, asking the the government why it is not bringing Social Security Act on time?. “Without protection of workers, trade unions will not accept ‘Hire and Fire’ and ‘No Work: No Pay’.
However, employers asked to implement ‘Hire and Fire’ and ‘No Work: No Pay’ to enhance productivity of workers. “we can’t afford extra burden at the time, when the industrial sector is in crisis due to power crisis, high interest rate and low productivity,” said president of Employers’ Council under the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) Pashupati Murarka.
He urged trade unions to take ‘Hire and Fire’ and ‘No Work: No Pay’ as labour flexibility and contribute in industrial development. “Once the industrial situation improves, workers will get benefit,” he said, without elaborating their contribution in social security fund.
Similarly, minister for Labour and Employment Kumar Belbase asked the employers and employees, both, to create investment friendly environment through mutual understanding.
“We have to develop domestic industrial sector to retain youth force — in the country — that are currently joining foreign jobs,” he said, hoping
that the conference will guide the ministry to develop future plan to reduce labour disputes and create better industrial environment.
According to him, the conference is also aimed at finalising draft of new labour law and
social security law. Similarly,
it will also explore potential mass employment sector inside the country.