Strike halts work in Mid-Marsyangdi project

Lumjung, November 14:

Workers of the Mid-Marsyangdi Hydel Project have halted construction works by staging an indefinite strike from today, pressing the management to fulfill their charter of eight demands, including pay raise and “hazard allowance.”

The strike was launched at the call of the Maoist-affiliated All Nepal Trade Union Federation unit in the project.

“We have sought publicising of the contract between the Nepal Electricity Authority and contractor company undertaking the construction works, proportionate increment

in salary, additional hazard allowance of 50 per cent of the total salary, additional 300 per cent of total daily wage for working on a holiday, tax deduction only on salary and giving tax receipts, equal pay for equal work, allowance in case of voluntary retirement,” said president of the workers association, Shivraj Khadka.

He said they had forwarded the demands to the contractor company DDC JV a month ago, but their demands were ignored forcing them to stage an indefinite strike.

He said the contracting company was ignoring their demands even after launching of an indefinite strike.

Almost 80 per cent of the works in the 70 megawatt capacity project, which will be the largest hydel project in the country, has been completed.

Construction works began in 2001 with a target to finish in 2004. But frequent strikes and disputes have delayed the project period and now it is slated to be completed by December 2007. It is reported that the project has to face a loss of over two million rupees a day due to the ongoing strike in the project which involves over 1000 workers.