Trade Union Situation in Nepal
General Economic Situation
With about 22 million population
and having a per capita income of US$ 210, Nepal remains one
of the poorest countries of the world. It ranks 144th
position in the UN Human Development Index out of 174 countries
listed in the Human Development Report. Nepal’s Human Poverty
Index is 51.3 percent. More than fifty percent of its population
live on less than a dollar a day. Over 80 percent of population
live in rural areas, pursuing agriculture as a source of livelihood,
most on small plots that produce insufficient food for survival.
If the current growth rate of population (2.5 percent) continues,
the population of Nepal will reach 40 million by the year 2020.
The Human Development Report concludes that in Nepal the rich
are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. While the
richest 20 percent of the population earn 44.8 percent of income,
the poorest 20 percent earn 7.6 percent of the income only.
Adult literacy is 39.2 percent and school enrolment ratio is
61 percent. The social sector still receives a low priority
in budgetary allocation. At present, the human expenditure ratio
in Nepal is less than 3 per cent of GNP that is very low as
compared to the internationally recommended ratio of 5 per cent.
The average annual Gross National
Product (GNP) growth rate of 3.4 percent roughly balances the
population growth. The population growth is higher than food
grain production (2.2 percent). Until 1975, Nepal used to be
a major food grain exporting country. Despite heavy investment
and top priority given to the agriculture sector, the country
now imports food grain every year from abroad. Ironically, this
sector still dominates the economy viewed from the share in
GDP contribution. More than 60 percent of its development budget
comes from foreign aid and aid constitutes a major instrument
for Nepal to escape from poor income, low saving (about 10 percent)
and low investment trap. The growing fiscal deficit gap in the
economy indicates a trend towards debt spiral. Debt is so huge
that even four years of revenue collection cannot pay back the
debt. About 90 percent of population do not have access to adequate
health services, 29 percent do not have safe drinking water
and 85 percent of population do not have access to sanitation.
The infant mortality rate is 74.5 per thousand live births.
Nepal is the only country in the world in which life expectancy
for women is lower than for men. The literacy rate for women
is 28 percent and for men 62 percent.
Economic Reform Policies
Until the latter half of 1980s,
Nepali state remained hyperactive in the sphere of production,
distribution, regulation, circulation and control. After that,
low economic growth led to a severe macro-economic instability,
such as chronic fiscal deficit owing to low internal revenue
mobilisation, fast growing public expenditure, swelling debt
burden and declining international reserves. In this context,
major donor countries and international financial institutions
such as World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) began
to set Nepal’s development priorities. The IMF subscribed the
government to adopt a Stabilisation Program in 1985 while the
World Bank offered Structural Adjustment Program (SAP). In 1990,
Nepal witnessed a change in the polity—from partilessness to
multi-party, competitive election, provision of human rights,
constitutional monarchy and sovereignty of people. In 1992,
Nepal entered into another phase of Enhanced Structural Adjustment
Facility of the IMF. Accordingly, despite its avowed ideology
of democratic socialism, the Nepali Congress government pushed
for privatisation and liberalisation of political economy. The
Privatization Act 1991, New Industrial Policy 1992, Industrial
Enterprises Act 1992, Foreign Investment and Technology Transfer
Act 1992 were passed to liberate the economy from politics and
society and make it competitive to participate in the opportunities
offered by globalization.
Nepal also became a member
of Multi-lateral Investment Guarantee Agency of the World Bank
and an adherent of the UN Commission for International Trade
Law. As a result of liberalisation there have been the establishment
of 11 joint venture banks, 40 finance companies, 2 leasing companies,
5 regional development banks and a small stock exchange. The
374 joint venture units operating in the country employ about
62,000 workers. This is a positive contribution of foreign investment
but these achievements appear insignificant compared to the
existence of over half a million workforce in the county. Nearly
60 percent of all joint venture industries comprise manufacturing
sector, followed by tourism 18 percent, service sector 17 percent
and agro-based industries 2.5 percent.
On November 29,2000 Nepal
concluded a crucial negotiation with the International Monetary
Fund (IMF) sponsored Poverty Reduction Growth Framework (PRGF),
that will guide the country’s economic decision-making, including
social spending for the next three years. Nepal’s entry into
PRGF will particularly expedite the pace of economic reform
initiated by Nepali Congress government in 1992 but slackened
due to ensuing political uncertainty in the second half of 1990s.
PRGF mainly focuses on macro-economic stability (low fiscal
deficit, low inflation and comfortable foreign exchange reserve),
structural reform (privatization of public enterprises, civil
service reform and restructuring of financial sector among others)
and poverty reduction. Though the IMF mission and high-level
government officials concluded the negotiations at the Finance
Ministry, it will have to be endorsed by the cabinet and IMF
Board of Directors before Nepal enters into PRGF, possibly by
April 2001. Besides, Nepal should pass through three crucial
requirements to qualify for the entry: it should award the management
contract of Rastriya Banijya Bank and Nepal Bank Ltd to private
sector; conclude the mid-term Budget review and finalise Poverty
Reduction Strategy Paper before April.
Politics of Workers Welfare
and Their Situation
In the 1990s there have been
noticeable developments in the promulgation of labour acts.
Labour Act 1992, Transportation Act 1992, Child Labour Act 1992,
Trade Union Act 1993, Working Journalist Act 1994 and Labour
Court Regulation Act 1995 have been promulgated. A tripartite
National Advisory Board was established in 1994, Labour Relations
Committees have been constituted and a Labour Court was established
on January 15, 1996 to settle industrial disputes. According
to the Department of Labour, the number of industrial disputes
stood at 189 in 1991 which came down to 49 in 1999.
But, the economic situation
in the country is deteriorating due to wrong policy prescriptions.
The industrial sector failed to absorb the surplus labour in
the agriculture sector. Consequently, the excessive burden of
generating employment has been borne mostly by the agriculture
sector alone, further aggravating the unemployment and underemployment
situation in the country. Of the total employed population,
about 79 per cent are self-employed. Most of the self-employed
labour force is concentrated in agriculture (about 71 percent).
The employment in the organised sector of the economy has been
stagnant standing at about 3 per cent of the country’s population.
Out of the total employed in organised sector more than 8 percent
of work force constitute non-Nepali origin. The growth of labour
force during the last decade was estimated to be almost at 3.5
per cent per annum. This figure, if translated to the population
of working age group means that every year about 4 hundred thousand
people enter into the job market. The future of those who are
unemployed appears bleak. Job prospects on agriculture do not
seem promising. There is already a burden of over unemployment
on farm sectors. The Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) in 2000
unveils that agriculture is still the predominant sector of
employment for Nepalese either by economic activity (54.7 percent)
or occupation (67.3 percent). Informal sector is another major
sector of employment—about 73 percent of the jobs outside agriculture.
The pace of industrialisation is plummeting, for example, the
CBS reveals that the number of manufacturing establishments
declined to 3557 in 1997 from 4271 in 1991.
After 1995 the carpet sector
has begun to show the signs of decay, following the negative
publicity about the use of child labour and the decline in the
quality of products, attributed to low quality dyeing. The same
year the manufacturing of carpets increased to 1,800 and the
number of employees reached 136,144. The weakness on the Nepalese
part is that Nepal is only capitalising this market for carpets
and garments, not developing the sustainable base of the industries.
In the garment sector, there are 900 registered factories in
Nepal but only 60 are operational. These factories employ 60,000
workers. This industry started as a quota system under GATT
arrangement. But, as the provisions of the Multi-Fibre Agreement
go into effect by the year 2000 to the abolition of quota by
2004, Nepal is likely to loose competitive advantage in this
After the opening up of national
economy toward liberalisation and globalisation many import
substitution industries were closed. So, this sector also could
not create additional employment opportunities. On the contrary,
price is rising heavily and the real wage is declining.
Origin of Trade Unions in
The history of trade union movement
in Nepal is of recent origin. There were no trade unions in
Nepal before 1945 as the country was under the family rule of
Ranas. Nepal had followed closed-door economy having almost
no relations with the outside world. In 1946 All Nepal Trade
Union Congress (ANTUC) was formed. In 1947, Biratnagar Workers
Union (BWU) was set up. In March 1947 the first workers’ movement
took place at Biratnagar for the establishment of democracy.
In 1951 ANTUC and BWU became united and formed the first trade
union federation in Nepal. The World Federation of Trade Unions
(WFTU) in 1953 granted membership to ANTUC. After the democratic
change of 1950, the freedom of association allowed the opportunities
to many voluntary organisations in the country and the workers,
too, felt the need to be united under one umbrella to fight
against the exploitation of the management and the government.
The unions existed at that time were:
Biratnagar Workers’ Union, Cotton
Mills Workers’ Union, All Nepal Trade Union Congress, Independent
Workers’ Union, Biratnagar Mills Workers’ Association, All Nepal
United Workers’ Union, All Nepal Trade Union Organisation and
Nepal Labour Union. But these unions were merely instruments
of the political parties without the capacity of free collective
bargaining. This is clear from the fact that Girija Prasad Koirala,
now, the president of Nepali Congress Party and late Mana Mohan
Adhikari, former president of the United Marxist-Leninist Party,
were active both in trade unions and their respective parties.
After the success of democratic struggle against 104 years of
Rana family rule in 1950 freedom of expression and organisation
became part of political life.
The Nepalese political history
took a new turn in 1960 when the King staged a putsch, banned
the political parties and trade unions and established a partyless
Panchayat system in 1962. This system limited the freedom of
expression and association but envisioned creating exploitation-free
society through the harmonisation and co-ordination of the interests
of different classes. For this, six different class organisations
including Nepal Labour organisation were created. As this organisation
was controlled by the system and also that the central body
was heavily politicised, the objective of ensuring the labour
welfare remained unfulfilled. Still, some of the noticeable
achievements were also made during this period in the field
of labour administration, such as, establishment of a separate
labour ministry, department and some labour offices and the
admission of Nepal into the International Labour Organisation
(ILO) as a member.
Multi-party democracy was restored
in the Spring of 1990 in the country after the success of people's
movement, in which many professional organisations, including
workers had actively participated. The Constitution of the Kingdom
of Nepal 1990 guaranteed multi-party parliamentary system, human
rights, constitutional monarchy and the sovereignty of people.
It also granted the freedom of expression and association, which
inspired the formation of trade unions. At an early stage, there
was mushrooming growth of trade unions. They were heavily divided
in the line of political ideologies. Each party has its own
unions, if not general federation. With the passage of time,
most of these unions could not exist and some of the unions
Three major federations existing
in the country are Nepal Trade Union Congress (NTUC),
Democratic Confederation of Nepalese Trade Unions (DECONT)
and General Federation of Nepalese Trade Unions (GEFONT).
Trade Union Congress (NTUC)
was established in 1947
with the objectives of promoting workers rights. The labour
movement in Nepal started on March 4, 1947 in Biratnagar
against the hereditary Rana rule for the establishment of
democracy and advancement of workers’ rights. The ideology
of NTUC was based on democracy, nationalism and socialism.
After the establishment of democracy in the country in 1950,
NTUC became active in the promotion of workers rights to
organise, express and struggle for their collective welfare.
In 1960 with the dissolution of multi-party democracy in
Nepal, trade unions were banned along with political parties
for almost 30 years of Panchayat system. With the overthrow
of Panchayat polity in 1990 following popular movement for
the restoration of democracy, freedom of expression and
organization became a part of national life. Nepal Trade
Union Congress also revived its organization in 1990 and
now works closely to ruling Nepali Congress party in general
and current prime minister Girija Prasad Koirala in particular.
Confederation of Nepalese Trade Unions (DECONT)
is established on May 1, 1997 after it broke away from NTUC.
It is not affiliated to Nepali Congress party but works
closely with former Prime ministers Krishna Prasad Bhattarai-
Sher Bahadur Deuba group in particular. This division extends
to the grassroots level on factional lines of the political
Federation of Nepalese Trade Unions (GEFONT)
established in July 20, 1989 with four founder federations:
Nepal Independent Workers Union (NIWU), Independent Transport
Workers’ Association of Nepal (ITWAN),Nepal Independent
Workers’ Union (NIHWU) and Trekking Workers’ Association
of Nepal (TWAN). It is affiliated to Communist Party of
Nepal Unified Marxist-Leninist party (CPN-UML). A small
faction splinted from GEFONT formed Independent Confederation
of Nepalese Trade Unions (ICONT) on March 14, 1998. ICONT
is affiliated to CPN Marxist-Leninist party (CPN-ML).
Trade Union Federations, Their
Affiliates and Areas Covered by Them
Nepal Trade Union Congress (NTUC) central
committee consists of 21 persons--five executives and sixteen
members--all elected by workers’ Congress in every four years.
Chairpersons of the national affiliate unions are additional
members. The meeting of National Council takes place every
year. National affiliate union also elects its executive in
every four years. The National Committee of NTUC comprises
nine sub-committees and five departments. Out of 75 districts
of Nepal NTUC has district committees in 57 districts. Mr.
Laxman Basnet is President of NTUC, Mr. Indra Deo Mishra is
Vice-President and Mr. Pushkar Acharya is General-Secretary.
Address: Nepal Trade Union Congress,
Po. Box: 5507; Tel: 527443; Fax: 527469; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
NTUC is the sole federation affiliated to ICFTU in Nepal.
Out of 20 national affiliated unions of NTUC 12 of them are
affiliated to different International Labor Secretariats.
|NTUC Affiliated Unions
||Affiliation with International
|Nepal Factory Labor Congress
||IMF - ICEM
|Nepal Tourism and Hotel Workers'
|Nepal Press Union
|Nepal Tea Garden Worker's
|Nepal Garment Workers' Union
||ITGLWF - TWARO
|Nepal Carpet Workers' Union
||ITGLWF - TWARO
|Financial Employees' Union
|Nepal Inter-Corporation Employees
|Nepal Teachers' Association
|Nepal Labor Union (Informal
|Nepal Transport Workers'
|Nepal Health Professional
|Nepal National Barbers' Union
|Nepal Leather and Leather
Show Workers' Union
|Nepal Small Hotel and Restaurant
|Nepal Wood Workers' Union
|Nepal Electric Workers' Union
|Nepal Rickshaw Drivers' Union
|Nepal Building and Construction
|Nepal Shop Workers'
NTUC is working closely with
FES, JILAF and ILO.
General Federation of Nepalese
The central committee of GEFONT
consists of 37 persons. The National Congress proportionally
elects delegates from the National Affiliates and sends to National
Council. National Council consists of proportionally elected
members from each of the affiliates, full time activists, advisors
and experts but not more than 25 percent of the total elected
members. National Committee is composed of chairman (Mr. Mukund
Neupane), Secretary-General (Mr. Bishnu Rimal), and Treasurer
(Mr. Binod Shrestha) 3 regional co-ordinators, 6 Chiefs of Central
Departments, 10 Chairpersons of Zonal Committees, and 15 Elected
Members of National Affiliates. Election takes place every four
Address: General Federation
of Nepalese Trade Unions (GEFONT Po. Box: 10652 Man Mohan Labor
Building, GEFONT Plaza, Putali Sadak, Kathmandu, Nepal. Tel:
248072; Fax: 248073; E-mail:
email@example.com Website: www.gefont.org
|GEFONT Affiliated Trade
||Affiliation with International
|NIWU-Nepal Independent Workers
& Garment Workers' Union of Nepal
Workers' Association of Nepal
|NICWU-Nepal Independent Carpet
|NIHWU-Nepal Independent Hotel
|UNITRAV- Union of Trekking,
Travel & Rafting Workers - Nepal
|ITPWUN-Independent Tea Plantation
Workers' Union of Nepal
|IPWUN - Independent Press
Workers' Union of Nepal
|NATU- Nepal Auto - Mechanics
| CUPPEC - Central
Union of Painters, Plumbers, Electro & construction
Garbage Cleaners' Union of Nepal
|NIFBWU - Nepal
Independent Food & Beverage Workers' Union
|NICIWU - Nepal
Independent Chemical & Iron Workers' Union
|NRPU- Nepal Rikshaw-Pullers'
|FAWN - Federation
of Agricultural Workers, Nepal
Women Workers' Department
GEFONT works closely with ILO, FES, DANIDA,
Asia Monitor Resource Center (Hong Kong), Asia-Pacific Workers’
Solidarity Links, etc.
Democratic Confederation of
Nepalese Trade Unions (DECONT)
Central Committee comprises 29
elected members and two nominated by the President in every
four years. There are five regional vice-presidents from five
Development Regions, which includes one woman as additional
one. All the presidents of National Affiliates are members to
Central Committee. Then there are district and unit committees
at enterprise levels. DECONT president is Mr. Rajendra B. Raut,
Vice-President is Ms. Rama Paudel and General-Secretary is Mr.
Khila Nath Dahal.
Address: Democratic Confederation
of Nepalese Trade Unions, Po. Box: 13440; Tel and Fax: 488486
|Affiliation with International
|Nepal Carpet Workers' Union
Construction and Allied
Workers' Union of Nepal (CAWUN)
Union of Nepal
Nepal Transport Workers'
Nepal Hotel Workers'
|Garment Workers' Union
Nepal Custom and Airport
|Nepal Film Workers' Union
Barbers' Union of Nepal
Nepal Commercial Workers'
Nepal Rickshaw and
Cart Workers' Union
Nepal Small Hotel and
Restaurant Workers' Union
Nepal Printing Press
Nepal Factory Workers'
|Nepal Automobile Workers'
Union of Banking and Financial Institutes of Nepal*
Democratic Health Workers'
Union of Nepal*
Democratic Press Union-Nepal*
*Unions under registration process.
DECONT works closely with FES, ILO, DANIDA
and in the process of working with PSI.
Besides these three confederations,
there are other trade unions affiliated to smaller political
parties but not registered with the Department of Labor. These
- All Nepal Trade Union Congress (ANTUC)
affiliated to CPN-Unity Centre.
- Nepal Trade Union Federation (NTUF) affiliated
- All Nepal Trade Union Congress (ANTUC)
affiliated to CPN-Mashal of Mohan Bikram Singh.
- Nepal Trade Union Centre (NTUC) affiliated
- All Nepal Democratic Free Trade Union
(ANDFTU) affiliated to Rastriya Prajatantra Party (RPP).
- Nepal Revolutionary Workers’ Union (NRWU)
affiliated to Nepal Workers and Peasants party of Comrade
Process of Union Formation
There are three tiers of Union.
At enterprise level, formation of union requires 25 percent
of the total members and a minimum of 10 persons. Five thousands
members from similar type of enterprise can enter into contract
and can form a union. Those outside enterprises, such as trade,
commerce, self-employment or service sector can also form a
union if they have 500 members and enter into agreement for
this purpose. In informal and agriculture sectors 5000 members
from 20 districts (not less than 100 person from each district)
are required to form a union. Fifty-enterprise level union can
form a National Level Union. While 10 national level unions
out of which 6 should be from organized sector can form Trade
There is no precise account of
membership of the unions. However, various studies show that
GEFONT is the strongest union in terms of membership as it covers
roughly 310,575 members whereas NTUC and DECONT 200,000 and
50,000 respectively. GEFONT has a stronghold in carpet, garment,
trekking, transport and small hotel unions in Collective Bargaining
Agreement (CBA) election and NTUC is powerful in financial,
corporate and press unions. Both GEFONT and DECONT are active
in informal sectors and blue -collar workers while NTUC is strong
in White-collar workers. DECONT’s performance in CBA election
has yet to be seen as it is established only two years back
so is the case with ICONT which is a break away of GEFONT about
two years ago, and affiliated with CPN Marxist-Leninist Party.
As stated earlier, the history
of trade unions in Nepal is not very old which dates back only
to a decade. Despite this, lots of unions do exist. The multiplicity
of union has a mixed result, both positive and negative in the
labour movement of Nepal. Positive in the sense that it has
covered different areas viewed from unionisation process which
otherwise would have remained untouched and negative in the
sense that this has weakened the strength of workers resulting
in poor organisation and bargaining power. Trade Unions in Nepal
are economically very weak. The number of paid members is very
low as compared to the unpaid members. Despite their limited
resources, they have been able to conduct many programmes, some
of which are supported by international organisations. These
programs mainly include, education (both formal and informal),
training (both training of trainees and trainers), occupational
health and safety programmes (fixed and mobile), campaigning
for the unionisation of informal sectors, campaigning against
the use of child labour and some regular and occasional publication.
Trade unions have achieved a lot, at least, to impart the knowledge
about trade union rights and duties to the workers. Consequently,
the unionisation process is on rise in the organised sector.
They are also strongly lobbying for the social security bills,
which has already been tabled in the parliament. And, recently
amended Labour Act has opened up the scope of union formation
even in the unorganised sector which is also the outcome of
unified efforts of the unions. All the major trade union federations
(GEFONT, DECONT and NTUC) are concentrating their efforts to
form union in the agriculture sector.
The Unorganised Sector
Un-organised sector, popularly
known as informal sector can be defined in the Nepalese context
as those sectors employing less than 10 employees/ workers.
The common characteristics of this sector are; 1. Free entry
and exit of the workers 2. Low income 3. Low productivity 4.
Low capital intensity and 5. Low scale of operation. The ILO
defines this sector as " comprising small scale units largely
of individuals, self employed producers in urban areas, some
of whom employed family labourers and or a few hired workers,
which operate with very little capital or none at all, which
utilise a low level of technology and skills, which operate
at a low level of productivity, which generally provide very
low and irregular income and highly unstable employment to those
who work in them. They are informal in the sense that they are
unregistered and unrecorded in official statistics and studies,
have little or no access to organised markets to credit institution,
to formal education and training institution or to many public
services and amenities".
This also exactly applies to
the Nepalese informal sector. Based on the above definition,
for simplicity, the Nepalese informal sector can be divided
into two broad categories; 1.Self employed persons, and 2. Wage
earners self employed persons are those who work with their
family or with the help of occasional outside labour such as
small owner cultivators, share croppers, tenant, fishermen,
animal husbandry, artisans, street vendors, rikshaw pullers
etc. whereas wage earners are those who operate on a casual
Informal workers are unprotected,
deprived of legal facilities and other social security measurers
which most of the workers of organised sectors enjoy. They suffer
from many handicaps, such as underemployment, low skill, low
income, no access to resources and as this sector is covered
by labour legislation, and the workers are vulnerable to various
political, economic and social pressure. They have no bargaining
power and ‘strike’ also no longer remains their weapon, because
if they call strike for a day they have to starve the another
day as they have nothing in store.
However recently, the government
of Nepal has amended the Labour Act 2048 under which a national
union can be formed and this union can be affiliated to the
general federation. But the procedure is not an easy task, as
it requires 5000 workers at least 100 from each of the 20 districts.
Independent union in this sector is therefore out of the question.
At present, all the three general federations (NTUC, DECONT
and GEFONT) are trying to form union in this sector and most
likely they will be able to register it in the Department of
Labour. But even then the question of survival remains there
given the temporary nature of the work and the work place. Despite
this situation the newly amended Act has broadened the scope
of trade union operation as it also brings the agriculture labourers
into the mainstream of union. The new provision has also made
it possible that a total of 500 self-employed workers can form
a national union. But whether all these will be translated into
reality is a matter of wait and see especially in a condition
where both informal sector workers as well as employers are
totally ignorant of the trade union principles and philosophy.
Nepal & Core Labour Standards
Nepal became the member of International
Labour Organisation in 1966. Until now, it has ratified the
following seven conventions:
- Discrimination ( Employment and Occupation)
convention No. 111
- Equal Remuneration Convention no. 100
- Minimum wage Fixation Convention No.
- Weekly Rest convention No. 14
- Tripartite Consultation Convention No.
- Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining
Convention No. 98 and,
- Minimum Age Convention 138.
Trade Unions are also lobbying
with the government for the ratification of conventions 29,
87 and 105. In this connection, Nepal Trade Union Congress recently
organised a meeting where parliamentarians, labour minister,
party members and even prime minister (all from Nepali Congress
only) were invited which aimed at sensitising them for the ratification
of these labour standards. In order to evaluate the implementation
of these ratified conventions, the Government of Nepal has established
a separate ILO Section under Department of Labour as per Article
22 of ILO convention. However, the implementation aspect of
ratified standards are so weak that there are a number of cases
where these have been violated by the parties involved (tripartite)
especially from the Government and the employers side. The government
is insensitive and has not shown its sincerity for the effective
implementation of these standards by introducing them in appropriate
legislation. Most of the labour laws pay attention only to the
permanent and temporary workers and not to the contract workers
and workers working in other areas, such as transport, mining
Minimum Wage For Workers
In January 2000, HMG Nepal fixed
minimum wage for agricultural workers. Accordingly, a worker
gets Nrs. 60 per day (Nrs. 7.50 per hour). District Development
Committee can also increase the amount of minimum wage based
on their capacity. On April 25, His Majesty’s Government had,
in accordance with the Labor Act 1992 and on the recommendation
of the committee formed to fix the minimum wages, fixed the
minimum wages for workers and employees working in institutions
other than the tea industries where the act is yet to be enforced.
According to the Labor Ministry, the minimum wage for unskilled
labourer has been fixed at Rs. 1,450 per month, Rs. 1,500 for
semi-skilled, Rs. 1,610 for skilled and highly skilled and Rs.
1,144 for child workers. The above-mentioned minimum wage also
includes an additional dearness allowance of Rs. 666 for adults
and Rs. 500 for children. Likewise, adult workers working on
a daily basis is entitled to receive Rs. 74 per day while children
will receive Rs. 60 per day.
Nepal Rugmark Foundation
This Foundation was established
on December 5, 1995 with the support of GTZ, UNICEF, NTUC, and
AFFLI with the objective of issuing licence to those producing
child labour-free carpet and promoting child rights including
their education and health facilities as well as the rehabilitation
of the children working in carpet factories. Carpet exporters
of 108 institutions and 375 factories are affiliated to this
foundation. The Foundation stamps its logo on the carpet being
exported abroad for which exporters have to pay 0.25 percent
while importers 1 to 2 percent of the cost of carpet. The money
thus raised is donated to the foundations of countries like
Nepal, India, Pakistan etc.
FES and Trade Union Partners
- Visit of FES delegation led by Mr. Erwin
Schweisshelm in Kathmandu in 1997 and meeting with all the
trade union partners
- Visit of DGB team led by Dr. Ernst J. Kerbusch
in 1998 to NTUC, GEFONT and DECONT office.
- Visit of Mr. Klaus Zwickel, Chairman, IMF
and his secretary to Nepal on July 28,2000 and meeting with
all trade union partners.
Nepal Trade Union Congress (NTUC)
Nepal Trade Union Congress is the first trade
union partner to have co-operation with FES. FES has been supporting
it and also its affiliates (Financial Employees Union of Nepal
and Nepal Press Union) for the last one decade in the following
- Various Training Manuals for trainees and
- Publication of simplified version of Trade
Union Act and Labour Act
- Translation of various trade union materials
- Seminars on issues of labour legislation,
structural adjustment program, collective bargaining, health
and safety and leadership empowerment programs.
- Material support in the form of medicine
- Facilitated participation in various regional
and international seminars
- Visit of Nepal Press Union delegation led
by Mr. Tara Baral, the then President of NPU to Germany in
Democratic Confederation of Nepalese Trade
FES was the first International Organisation
to join hands with DECONT after its formation as a general federation,
two years back. It has provided material help (purchase of Medicine)
to DECONT run health camp for carpet workers. Besides, FES has
been co-operating with DECONT in carrying out a number of Leadership
Empowerment Training Programmes.
General Federation of Nepalese Trade Unions
* Training Manuals on:
- Information handling, documentation and
Union office management
- Trainers Handbook
- Seminars on the issues of collective bargaining,
health and safety, labour economics and impact of structural
adjustment on workers
- International exposures through participation
in international seminar
- technical training to GEFONT official on
various software of computers and office management
- Material support in the form of books
- Sharing Experiences and Promoting Understanding
at the International Level
- Discussion on the subject of mutual co-operation
with FES headquarter officials by Mr. Mukund Neupane, chairman
of GEFONT and the then Labour Minister
- FES Meeting in Geneva ( organised in conjunction
- Participation of GEFONT delegates to various
meeting held in other South Asian countries