Kathmandu, August 31:

Employees’ strike in a protest against the new regulation today brought about 90 per cent of daily activities of Nepal Bank Ltd (NBL) to a halt throughout the country. The employees have been staging strike since last Sunday in a protest of provisions of new Employees’ Regulation-2062, saying it as an ‘autocratic document’ that has seized the rights to trade union activities.

The employees’ intensified their agitation after the suspension of seven of their leaders yesterday. In addition to this, the management has suspended three more trade unionists — Binod Kumar Shrestha, Sankhalal Nepali and Binod Kumar Dube — citing indiscipline. “They are taking part in the strike and provoking others also not to work,” the management said.

The protest launched by Nepal Bank Employees’ Association (NBEA) and Nepal Financial Institutions Employees Association (NFIEA) at the central office from Sunday has now spread all over the country, said Arjun Karki, secretary of NBEA.

“Out of the total 3,000 employees, more than 1,800 have already arrived Kathmandu to take part in the protest,” he said. This has resulted in complete disruption of all the transactions and daily administrative works in all 117 branch and sub-branch offices of the country’s oldest and one of the largest public sector banks. As a part of the protest, the NBL staffs today chanted slogan against the new management team for imposing dictatorship. The unions have demanded “free trade union activities, scrapping of the provisions of automatic retirement for an employee working for 15 years at the same post and termination of service after 30 years without any gratuity.”

The management, however, has already warned that it would take strict action against those who take part in illegal activities and try to disrupt the daily works. It has also termed the unions’ demands ‘unreasonable’.