Kathmandu, July 13
Trade unions affiliated to different political parties have expressed their dissatisfaction over the recent revision of the minimum monthly wage of industrial workers.
Applicable from July 17, the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security (MoLESS) has set new minimum monthly wage for industrial workers at Rs 13,450, an increment by 38.66 per cent compared to the previous minimum monthly wage of Rs 9,700.
However, the trade unions have claimed that only the government-affiliated trade unions were consulted before fixing
the minimum wage and that the new minimum wage should be revised again.
“Workers cannot run their livelihood at the set minimum monthly wage. Similarly, with such negligible wage, the outflow of Nepali workers to various countries is certain to increase,” said Indra Dev Mishra, president of Inclusive Federation of Nepalese Trade Unions (IFNTU).
As per Mishra, the minimum wage for industrial workers should be at least Rs 22,000 per month.
Moreover, Mishra informed that industrial workers across the country will stage protests if the government fails to review its decision within July 31.
Similarly, Nabaraj Dahal, president of Social Democratic Trade Union Federation (SDTUF), said that a series of protests will be
carried out from August 1 if the government does not review the minimum wage of workers.
IFNTU, SDTUF and other trade unions have even submitted a memorandum to the government seeking notable increment in minimum wage of industrial workers.
However, the government is unlikely to review the set minimum wage again as the decision to increase the minimum wage for industrial workers to Rs 13,450 per month has already been published in the Nepal Gazette.
Moreover, Laxman Mani Mainali, secretary at the MoLESS, claimed that the new minimum wage for industrial workers was determined through a tripartite discussion between the government, employers and trade unions.
Meanwhile, the country’s private sector has said that recent increment in minimum wage of industrial workers will help boost productivity in the industrial sector.
“Productivity in Nepal’s industrial sector is one of the lowest in the entire SAARC region. The new minimum wage will certainly encourage workers, help boost industrial productivity and foster a good industry-worker relationship,” claimed Chandra Dhakal, chairman of Employers’ Council at the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry.
Owing to improved industry-worker relationship and smooth power supply in the recent months, Dhakal expressed belief that the country’s industrial output will grow in the coming days.
A version of this article appears in print on July 14, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.