Labour pains dog Dabur Nepal

Birgunj, September 23:

Dabur Nepal Pvt Ltd, a multinational company at Tokani-Rampur in Bara district, has not reopened though agitating workers have called off their indefinite strike as their union is refusing to sign an closure-of-strike agreement.

The management on September 13 had asked the union to sign an eight-point agreement which includes the clause ‘no work, no pay’, on termination of the strike.

According to the management, the Maoist-affiliated Multinational Company Workers Union (MCWU) demanding 10 per cent bonus from annual net profits staged an ‘illegal’ strike on August 29, in complete disregard of an earlier agreement.

The management said the union breached the agreement that said there would be no stoppage of work till July 2009. MCWU claimed the statement of net profit made public by the management in its annual report of 2007-08 was fake. The management said all its financial records had been audited and approved by the government.

As per the previous agreement, the workers could not stage strike or raise new demands till July 2009, the management said adding that owing to the strike the company was forced to announce a ‘no work, no pay’ policy with effect from August 29, 2008.

The management’s terms include limiting union meetings to two hours a week, holding a meeting of the union with management representatives once a week, no one to obstruct security check as well as taking action against unruly elements.

Dabur Nepal provides bonus to workers more than what is mentioned in the Company Labour and Bonus Act, the management said, adding, “All appointed workers are getting 33.33 per

cent of their monthly salary as bonus which had been accepted by them when they got their appointment letters.”

The company has incurred a loss of Rs 24 crore due to the closure since August 29, the management said adding that 36 containers carrying raw materials were stranded midway due to the strike.

The workers’ agitation was called off after a high level committee under the chairmanship of undersecretary to the ministry of Labour and Transport Management, Dipak Subedi, was formed on September 12 to probe the income and expenditure

of the company, MCWU Dabur Nepal Unit chairman Shiv Lal Chettri said adding that the eight terms forwarded by the management were not acceptable.

The government has directed the committee to present its report within a month.