Nepal | July 10, 2020

Workers threaten to shut down restaurants

Himalayan News Service
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Kathmandu, February 1

Trade unions of different political parties related with the restaurant business have threatened to shut down restaurants and bars across the country from Tuesday if the decision to scrap the 10 per cent service charge for diners is not revoked.

Citing that the Restaurant and Bar Association of Nepal (REBAN) decided to scrap 10 per cent service charge that is being levied by eateries without consulting trade unions and that the decision will affect restaurant and bar employees, trade unions have asked REBAN to revoke its decision at the earliest.

The joint meeting of National Tourism and Hotel Associated Workers’ Union (NTHAWU), Nepal Independent Hotel, Casino and Restaurant Workers’ Union (NIHCRWU) and Casino and Restaurant Workers Union (CRWU) today decided to launch a series of protest programmes against the decision of REBAN, which includes the closure of restaurants and bars across the country from Tuesday.

“REBAN and restaurant workers had inked an agreement to collect the 10 per cent service charge from diners almost one decade ago and divide it among stakeholders in a fair manner. However, REBAN unilaterally decided to scrap the provision and we will not tolerate this,” reads the joint press statement of NTHAWU, NIHCRWU and CRWU.

Moreover, trade unions said that REBAN’s move to scrap the service charge provision is unwanted especially against the backdrop of the Supreme Court already terming the provision as legal.

As a protest against REBAN’s decision, the three trade unions have said they will organise a massive corner meeting at 4:00pm on Sunday, halt the operation of those restaurants and bars that implement the decision of REBAN and completely shut down restaurants across the country from Tuesday.

Following pressure and criticism from customers, REBAN haddecided to scrap the 10 per cent service charge that is being levied by eateries.

Currently, customers are obliged to pay additional 23 per cent charge for what they eat in restaurants and other eateries —13 per cent value added tax (VAT) and 10 per cent service charge. Scrapping the 10 per cent service charge means that diners will now have some financial relief at restaurants.

Meanwhile, Pramod Kumar Jaiswal, president of REBAN, said that the service charge provision has been scrapped keeping in view the financial pressure at eateries for the customers. “We believe that this decision will not only benefit customers but will also help the
restaurant business to grow further. We will not revoke this decision,” he said.

A version of this article appears in print on February 02, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.

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