Kathmandu, May 1

Private sector umbrella bodies — Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) and Confederation of Nepalese Industries (CNI) — have emphasised cordial relations between employees and employers to enhance productivity in the country.

Issuing their statements on the occasion of the 128th May Day (international workers’ day) both the private sector umbrella bodies have said that cordial labour relations is vital to improve the investment climate, which will benefit both employees and employers.

Hari Bhakta Sharma, president of CNI, has said that labour relations have improved in recent years. “Flexibility from both employees and employers is a must to settle the remaining issues for a win-win situation,” he said, adding, “Around four million youths have already migrated due to lack of employment opportunity here, the country will be able to create more jobs and retain the youths if investment climate is improved.”

Labour unions and the private sector umbrella bodies have held several rounds of talks in the past to resolve the issues raised by the labourers. The Labour Bill, which is going to be tabled at the Parliament, has been prepared based on the common understanding reached between the labour unions and private sector umbrella bodies.

“Labour problem has ruined the investment climate in the country in the past decade and now the relation is gradually improving through regular dialogues with the unions,” said Chandra Prasad Dhakal, chairman of the Employment Council of FNCCI, adding, “FNCCI has been working in close coordination with labour unions for larger benefit of the economy.”

Changing its stance from ‘hire and fire’, private sector players have relented to incorporating ‘more work, more pay’ in the Labour Bill and private sector umbrella bodies are convinced not to organise any protest programme in industrial enterprises. FNCCI has said the cordial labour relations will provide necessary impetus to promote investment and create more jobs.

For their part, trade union leaders have said that they are also in favour of cordial labour relations but the employers have to correctly implement the provisions of law and agreements with trade unions. “The concerned government offices have just been monitoring the working environment in the enterprises and this is not sufficient,” said Bishnu Rimal, president of General Federation of Nepalese Trade Union (GEFONT). “Labour Offices of the government should also introduce labour inspection system, through which they can check if employers have provided the promised facilities, and enforce the laws properly.”

According to Rimal, the Labour Bill and Social Security Bill will address the major issues after these two bills get endorsed from the Parliament and come into force.