Rally deamnds dumping of ex-regime’s laws

Kathmandu , May 1:

Nepalese workers returned to the streets on May Day today after weeks of protests against King Gyanendra to demand the new government ditch labour laws passed by the monarch, union officials said.

Marchers said they were hopeful of a brighter future after King Gyanendra recalled parliament after buckling under weeks of demonstrations but demanded politicians took swift action to improve workers’ rights.

“We’re demanding full -fledged democracy and that workers l be protected,” said Rajendra Kumar Acharya,

of the Union Network International, heading a column of bank workers.

“During the king’s regime, he produced an ordinance making it easier to hire and fire workers. We’re demanding that is cancelled.” Union officials said up to 10,000 people joined marches in the centre of Kathmandu, a figure that could not be independently verified. They were due to gather for a rally in the centre of the city.

Workers on marches said they were celebrating King Gyanendra’s climbdown after he recalled parliament after some 14 months of outright rule.

“This is not only supporting the parliament but also the labour movement which supported the reinstatement of parliament,” said Bidur Karki, secretary-general of the Independent Transport Workers’ Association. He led a group of bus drivers chanting: “We want full democracy” and “Democracy — now jobs.”