Book on Labor Movement
Years of Labor World ( Shram Sansarka Barhabarsha)
Edited by: Bishnu Rimal,
Umesh Upadhyaya, Kabindrashekhar Rimal, Binda Pandey,
Ramesh Badal, Agni Sikha
Published Year: 2003
Published by: General Federation of Nepalese
Trade Unions (GEFONT) & Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung
Price: Rs. 200, Pages:
ISBN No: 99933-771-8-X
By A CORRESPONDENT
From left to right and center to extreme,
all the political parties have formed the labor unions
as a sister organization to raise issues related to labor.
Following the restoration of democracy, the labor unions
affiliated to the CPN-UML had made tremendous improvement.
The book Twelve Years of Labor
World is a first of its kind covering various aspects
of the labor movement in Nepal. In a country with relatively
new history of trade union movement, the history is replete
with many ups and downs. Although most of the political
leaders including former prime minister Girija Prasad
Koirala and late Manmohan Adhikary started their political
career as trade union activists, Nepals work force
have to face a long struggle to establish their rights.
The book, which has been published with
the support of FES/ Nepal, deals with gender, trade union,
trade union politics and the problems of trade union in
different areas including in the tourism sector, transport
sector and industrial sector.
Following the restoration of democracy
and liberal atmosphere, the countrys trade union
struggle has also passed through an agitating phase to
more reconciliatory one. But, it is still led by agitating
and extreme groups. With articles contributed by president
of GEFONT and member of CPN-UML Mukunda Neupane, general
secretary Bishnu Rimal, Umesh Upadhyaya, Balram Khatri
and Binda Pandey, one can read about different aspects
highlighting real problems of trade union movement in
In his article, past and present of
trade union in Nepal, general secretary Rimal highlights
the evolutionary process of Nepals labor movement
and its historical importance in the country. Although
Rimal is more concerned about the problems of trade union
workers, he also explains the challenges faced by Nepalese
industries as a whole. In the early phase, Nepalese labor
movement had passed through a phase to restore their rights.
In second phase, workers had to fight for many other benefits
including establishing their rights through the legal
point of view.
Like other countries Nepals trade
union movement is also divided by political ideology.
Thanks to the division in the trade unions, the workers
have to suffer. Because of ideological affiliation and
frequent political intervention, the countrys trade
union is guided by political decision. While GEFONT is
affiliated to the Nepal Communist Party Unified
Marxist Leninist, other half a dozen of trade unions also
are affiliated with other major parties including Nepali
Congress. But, only two trade unions are powerful.
Although the contributors are the one
who have had a long experience of struggling in the trade
union movements, they seem to be less interested to paint
the true picture of the trade union movement in Nepal.
In the article Politics and Trade Union, president of
GEFONT just accuses his political rivals Nepal Trade Union
Congress and other trade unions for not making concrete
efforts to raise the issue of laborers.
Despite lapses and shortcomings, the
book helps to understand difficult and different phase
of labor movement in Nepal in the last five decades and,
particularly, after the restoration of democracy.
Twelve years ago, the GEFONT did not
have any infrastructures but today it has its own building
equipped with the medical and other facilities for the
laborers. The problem, which the book obviously ignores,
is how to overcome the political interference in labor
Source: SPOTLIGHT (19-25 March