Worker’s rights need government attention.
Worker’s rights need government attentionHimalayan News ServiceKavre, April 12Although it is floated that the government is doing something on behalf of construction labourers, in fact workers are still facing a lot of inconvenience either in their daily lives or in relation to their health, since the said laws are yet to be implemented. Because of this, millions of such labourers are living in very difficult conditions. In case they have an accident and become disabled, they are only provided compensation under conditions of partiality.According to data issued by the government, there are 7.2 million agricultural labourers, among which about 300,000 labourers belong to trade unions. Neither the trade unions nor the government has any clear cut data about the exact number of construction workers in the country. The problem is inherent in this sector, since most of the divisions of industries in the country including factories, construction of roads and general works related to electricity and plumbing have been almost totally influenced by foreign workers.On the other hand, the government has not taken up the issue as one of important concern; therefore labourers entangled in small range works have been badly affected. Actually, in 1960 when Bisheswor Prasad Koirala was the prime minister of Nepal, a proper law and order system was made on behalf of workers involved in factories and industries. The law was comparatively useful regarding their health and job security.However, other laws and acts, introduced in 1990 when the constitution of Nepal was made after the restoration of democracy, are found to have been fruitful for workers from any sector.Although the acts introduced in 1990 were meant to work in favour of the workers in factories, industries and other sectors, so far the government has been yet to implement facilities in relation to their job security, providing medical allowances and other indispensable factors. As a result, the trade unions are dissatisfied with the government. They add that the government should be more serious about promoting their work standards, by developing work related facilities for them, so that they would be encouraged to serve well and produce quality goods. Since the existing laws and acts seem to be ineffective in socio-economic as well as political viewpoints, the government can never be free of the responsibility of solving their problems. Regarding this, the government cannot escape from reality, said Yuraj Sharma, a chief engineer.Meanwhile, experts of concerned sectors say that labourers are being paid compensation according to incidents that occurred, but there is no chance of any misunderstanding arising between the concerned companies and workers. In order to control such incidents, immediate steps should be taken by the local administration in favour of the victims, said Lalit Bahadur Thapa, Director General of Labour Department.Further to this, he said until and unless the workers should have the provision of facilities such as job security, medical allowances, they will never be free from anxiety and the concerned companies or factories will not, as a result of the tension of the workforce, produce quality goods.Regarding this issue, state minister of Labour and Transport Management said that regarding labourers involved in construction work, the government is very serious about combining both organised and non-organised workers in relation to job guarantees and medical allowances. For this end, the government is about to introduce bill in parliament.