No need to amend Labour Act, say trade union leaders

Kathmandu, January 31:

Trade union activists today said the proposed amendment to the Labour Act was not necessary and the amendment would only curb the rights of labourers. An ordinance to amend the Labour Act is expected to come soon.

Emphasising on dialogue between all the stakeholders, the trade union leaders rebuffed the need to amend the Act and said it would only curb the rights of the labourers and workers.

President of the Nepal Trade Union Congress, Laxman Basnet, however, conceded that talks on the issue are ongoing with the government but criticised the “industrialists” for not abiding even by the existing Labour Act.

Bishnu Rimal of the GEFONT stressed on scrapping certain points in the amended Act such as “workers’ on contract”, “no work no pay”, among others. He also accused the government of trying to restrict the workers from making unions through the new amendment.

Khilanath Dahal of the DECONT labelled the amendment as “unfortunate” as it has not encompassed the concerns of all stakeholders concerned.

Acting chairman of the Nepal Chambers of Commerce, Surendra Bir Malakar, said the Act should come with understanding between the government, employers and the workers.

Issuing a joint statement today, GEFONT, DECONT and the Nepal Trade Union Congress demanded immediate release of all the arrested persons including trade union workers. They have also termed the municipal polls as an “unsuccessful ploy” to lengthen the government’s tenure.