Govt gives in to workers’ demands

Itahari, January 9:

In the wake of the announcement to close the 500 industries due to the workers’ stir demanding to increase wage, the government has consented to provide Rs 190 as minimum daily wage to the jute workers, who forced to shut down the nine jute industries of Sunsari and Morang for two weeks, and disrupted vehicular movements in the area for five days.

The agitating workers’ representative and Labour Minister reached to an agreement today after a three-hour talk in the Ministry of Labour, said Tej Lal Karna central member of the All Nepal Trade Union Federation.

According to Karna, the government agreed that the workers of the jute industries at par with other industries should be entitled to provide Rs 190 as minimum daily wage. The labour minister also expressed commitment during the talks with the jute industrial entrepreneurs, who were on their part demanding special relief package from the government if they were to provide Rs 190 as minimum daily wage. “The government is ready to consider the demand of the industrialists,” labour leader Karna said. The next round of talks with the workers’ representative is scheduled for Saturday after a negotiation with the jute industrial entrepreneurs.

However, the labour leaders claimed that the agitation would not come to an end because the agreement was reached with the government only. “The agitation and bandh programmes

would continue until the workers were paid minimum of Rs 190 per day,” said Ganesh Adhikari, coordinator of the talks team representing the workers.

Some 500 industries located in Sunsari-Morang corridor were forced to shut down due to the transport strike and agitation of the jute workers.

According to Mahesh Jaju, president of the Morang Trade Association, majority of 500 industries in the industrial corridor were closed and only 10 percent of the industries were in operation, decreasing their products by 85 percent.