Syndicate system removed, transport workers in a lurch

Gaighat, June 19

With the removal of syndicate system in the transport sector, Himali Transport Entrepreneurs’ Union Udayapur is all set to lay off more than 100 employees from the first day of the new fiscal.

After the government blocked transaction of moveable and unmovable property and bank balance owned by Himali Transport, the transport company has decided to relieve its staffers citing financial crisis.

Himali Transport owns land, houses and millions in bank balance. With the removal of syndicate system, all property owned by the company, including bank balance has been blocked.

“We have not been able to withdraw cash from the bank. We are giving compulsory retirement to employees from the first day of the new fiscal,” said Himali Transport Entrepreneurs’ Union chairman Prem Rai.

The transport company had been paying a monthly salary to its employees by dividing them into various levels for the past fifteen years. Employees ranging from assistant to inspector are paid monthly salary. A staff receives the monthly salary from Rs 15,000 to Rs 30,000. The employees were being paid Dashain bonus and given other incentives as well, said HTEU Treasurer Bishnu Shrestha.

Before HTEU was established, all staffers used to take 10 per cent commission for selling a ticket. “Once the staffers got aligned with the company, they were paid regular salary and allowance,” said senior HTEU Vice-chair Umesh Basnet. “We have been forced to relieve staffers due to fund crunch,” said Basnet.

He said they were facing a serious financial crisis with the removal of the syndicate system. “More than 100 staffers will lose their jobs from the new fiscal,” Basnet added.

The transport company has made up its mind to provide some cash to its employees. “We are preparing to give 2 lakh to 5 lakh rupees to staffers, but we cannot give cash right now as our bank accounts are blocked,” Chairman Rai said.