ITAHARI: The already ailing industries are going to bear the brunt of internal rift in the Unified CPN-Maoist.
Maoist-affiliated All Nepal Trade Union Federation’s two splinter factions led by Badri Bajgain and Laldhoj Nembang, said to be close to Maoist Vice Chairmen Mohan Baidya and Baburam Bhattarai, respectively, today took exception to salary and wages agreement signed between employers and three trade unions yesterday.
“The agreement reached between ANTUF and employers does not represent our concern,” said Bajgain, adding ANTUF led by its president Shalikram Jammarkattel is not the right authority to decide on labourers’ issues.
They also blamed Jammarkattel for signing an agreement that is pro-employer.
“No Work No Pay and 50 per cent hike in the salary is against the labourers’ wish,” said Bajgain, adding, they will continue to protest.
Yesterday, the three largest trade unions — ANTUF, Nepal Trade Union Congress and General Federation of Nepalese Trade Unions — had inked an agreement to hike the salary and wages on mutual understanding and not to close industries for the next four years.
As part of protests, trade unions led by Bajgain and Madhes-based parties today enforced shutdown of nearly 500 industries in Sunsari-Morang corridor.
Supported by the Bajgain-led faction of ANTUF, a large group of workers affiliated to Madhesi Trade Union Forum Nepal, Federation of Free Democratic Trade Union Forum (Democratic) and Federation of Nepal Progressive Trade Unions closed the industries from early morning.
Tension ran high for some time in the morning at Arihanta Jute Mills and Asian Thai Foods. Irate workers also vandalised some industries.
President of coordination committee of Federation of All Nepal Revolutionary Trade Unions in Kochila State, Gobinda Prasad Rijal, demanded scrapping of yesterday’s agreement.
“The deal hailed as historic is nothing but an illusion,” said Rijal. “It is a black day in the history of struggle for labourers’ rights.”
Central Secretary of Federation of Madhesi Trade Union Forum Bipin Kumar Karna said they were forced to agitate as Madhes-based trade unions were ignored. “We want 100 per cent salary hike,” said Karna who is supporting Bajgain. “The workers are demanding Rs 10,000 monthly salary and Rs 450 as daily wage.”
However, Morang Industry Organisation Chairman Dinesh Golchha, who returned from Kathmandu today after signing the agreement, said the trade unions were making a mistake by protesting.
He said the agitating unions earlier had consented to the agreement. “But we are still ready to settle the disputes through dialogue.”