Workers’ protest forces noodle factory to halt operation

Pokhara, May 22

Agitating workers at Pokhara Noodles Pvt Ltd have caused the closure of the factory today.

The factory administration had withheld the payment Sanjiv Adhikari, a worker at the liquid section since May 6 after he refused to work expressing dissatisfaction with his transfer. Adhikari was transferred to another section after he failed to impress the supervisor with his performance. Ever since his transfer, Adhikari had refused to take up his duty in the transferred section and had even picked up a dispute with the supervisor.

All Nepal Industrial Workers’ Union Chair Pusparaj Bhattarai confirmed the protest demanding that the blocked salary be released and Adhikari be allowed to serve in his previous post. Further, Bhattarai sought timely payment, end to the ongoing exploitation of workers and reinstatement of sacked labourers, besides full implementation of Labour Act 2074. Adhikari is vice chairperson of ANILU, unit committee.

The noodles company director Baburam Panta, on his part, clarified that the industry was not compelled to keep anyone who refuses to do his part of the responsibility. “The action against him is out-and-out justified as the man was a bluff who issued threats against his own supervisor,” he said. Panta added, “If anyone feels being wronged, s/he could come to us and resolve the issue in an amicable way. Activities that harm the company can’t be tolerated.”

Further, Panta urged workers to return to work, clarifying that the company wouldn’t pay anyone for the period s/he doesn’t attend duty.