Nepal | August 16, 2020

Independence Day 2020

Remuneration dispute between employers, workers resolved

Himalayan News Service
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KATHMANDU, JULY 29

Labour relations in the country, which had started deteriorating with the unfavourable circumstances brought on by the outbreak of the coronavirus, seems to be gradually improving with both industries and employees today reaching a conclusion on the months-long remuneration dispute.

The two parties have reached an agreement whereby industries will provide workers with full salary as of Chaitra while 50 per cent salary will be provided for Baisakh and Jestha. Similarly, industries have also agreed to provide full salary from Ashad on condition that industries can deploy staffs on turn-wise basis ensuring that no employee loses their job.

The agreement was reached between Employers’ Council of the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) and different trade unions. Along with FNCCI, the pact has also been approved by Nepal Chamber of Commerce, Confederation of Nepalese Industries and Federation of Nepal Cottage and Small Industries, among other institutions.

Bharat Raj Acharya, vice-chairman of the council, informed that the agreement paper inked on Tuesday will be forwarded to the taskforce formed under the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security (MoLESS) to settle the remuneration dispute. After the taskforce failed to resolve the dispute despite multiple meetings and discussions with both industries and trade unions, it had directed both parties to reach an understanding themselves as soon as possible.

“In the present context, neither are we in a condition to lay off workers nor pay them full for the lockdown period. Thus, we have reached an understanding with a win-win situation for both industries and workers,” informed Acharya, adding that this agreement amid such a crisis is expected to further strengthen employer-labour relationship.

With most industries shut while the lockdown was in force, employers had not only reduced their workforce but also slashed the salaries of their staffers, which had outraged both formal and informal sector workers. Citing that such unilaterally taken decision threatens to regress the employer-employee relationship, representatives of different trade unions had criticised industries and businesses.

Puskar Acharya, president of Nepal Trade Union Congress, said that there might not be a remuneration dispute in the coming days as businesses and industries have resumed their operations.

“The agreement states that no industry/business can lay off workers while industries will make payments to workers as soon as possible. This will ensure enhanced employer-labour relationship in the coming days too,” he added.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on July 30, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.

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