Labour panel okays wage rate deal

Kathmandu, December 1:

The Labour Advisory Committee (LAC) today endorsed the minimum wages agreed upon by entrepreneurs and labour unions yesterday.

GEFONT vice-president Bishnu Rimal said the committee endorsed yesterday’s decision reached by the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI), Nepal Chambers of Commerce (NCC), Hotel Association of Nepal and representatives of six different trade unions.

The committee should have fixed the minimum wages but the Labour Ministry had to do the needful because the committee could not decide on its own due to the row between labour union leaders and representatives of the entrepreneurs, Rimal said adding that the committee today also decided to form a panel to study the problems in jute mills.

Trade unions have been asking for implementation of the minimum wage fixed by the ministry while most of the industries have expressed inability to provide such wages.

FNCCI, the umbrella organisation of the Nepali private sector, took the initiative and held discussions after several industries were shut down by unions on the issue of minimum wage.

FNCCI president Kush Kumar Joshi and the leaders of trade unions signed the agreement late yesterday evening. Minimum salary and wages will be granted according to the quality and capacity of the labourer. Unskilled will get a total salary of Rs 4,600 while semi-skilled will get a total of Rs 4,650, skilled Rs 4,760 and highly skilled ones 4,950.

Under the agreement, if an industry or organisation has lately increased salary and wages, all that will be adjusted according to the present agreement. The minimum daily wage has been fixed at Rs 190, and according to the agreement it will be applicable to all industries, including hotels throughout the country.

The agreement has been applicable from the 17th day of September.