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Special Conference Concludes for NIHWU Hotel Pokhara Grand

The Nepal Independent Hotel Casino and Restaurant Workers Union (NIHWU) - Hotel Pokhara Grand, has elected a 15-member committee under the chairmanship of Cde. Yama Prasad Sapkota in a special conference held on February 6.

Cde. Laxman Tiwari, Central President of NIHWU, stated that the union, active in the tourism sector, is the only official trade union representing the hotel. He emphasized that the union operates collectively and institutionally, asserting that it does not operate based on the whims of any individual.

Cde. Manmohan Gayak, the president of Pokhara Grand and also the central vice president of the union, was disciplined by expelling from his position due to his involvement in anti-union activities.

Cde. Rudra Bahadur Khatri, GEFONT Gandaki Provincial President, affirmed that the union's vitality and continuity would not be compromised by the migration of a few individuals. He stressed the importance of unity, organization, and perseverance in striving for the rights of workers.

Cde. Badri Kumar Bhandari, Central Secretary of NIHWU, highlighted that for the past 18 years, NIHWU, as the official trade union, has been actively addressing the workers' concerns.

During the opening ceremony of the special conference, speeches were delivered by GEFONT National Committee member Cde. Pampha Pahari, GEFONT Province Committee member Cde. Badrinath Subedi, NIHWU central member Cde. Keshav Prasad Sapkota, Union Hotel Pokhara Grand Vice President Cde. Nita Mainali, Secretary Cde. Ramchandra Acharya, and others, addressing various issues about workers in the tourism sector.

GEFONT Bagmati province planning workshop completed

General Federation of Nepalese Trade Unions (GEFONT) Bagmati Province workshop and planning meeting was held under the chairmanship of Cde. Ramhari Nepal on February 3rd at the Tourism Board's hall at Bhrikutimandap in Kathmandu.

In the workshop, GEFONT President Cde. Binod Shrestha recalled the history of Nepal's trade union movement, which started in 1946 and reached the third generation today, although it has succeeded in bringing many changes in the labor sector, including political changes, but the workers' lives are not in a condition where they can feel the change, and how to advance the movement in the labor market. Emphasizing that it should be our main issue in the future, he expressed confidence that the workshop will create a solid plan.

While being led by the third generation of Nepal's trade union movement, while protecting the achievements of the past movement, emphasizing on the need to implement the program set by the 8th Congress of GEFONT, GEFONT has 20 percent increase in membership, joining 2 million workers in contributory social security scheme, remuneration for intern, etc. He said that workers should have an active role.

Expressing his belief that the workshop will help in building a reliable organization of workers in 119 municipalities of 13 districts of Bagmati province by identifying their shortcomings and achievements in a fine manner, President Shrestha also gave instructions to implement the ideas that came out of the workshop in a planned manner.

In the workshop, GEFONT Vice President and Women's Committee President Cde. Sita Lama highlighted 10 issues to be done in the workshop. GEFONT General Secretary Cde. Laxman Sharma said that it is necessary to formulate more plans after evaluating how much of the plan prepared by the Federation has been implemented and how much remains to be done.

120 leaders from 13 districts of Bagmati province were divided into 7 groups and prepared by discussion in the planning workshop which was facilitated by GEFONT Vice President Cde. Bidur Karki, Cde. Jitendra Shrestha, Cde. Sita Lama, Secretary General Cde. Laxman Sharma, Deputy Secretary General Cde. Narnath Luitel, Secretary Cde. Mahendra Lal Shrestha.

Bagmati Provincial Office informed that the issues presented in the workshop will be prepared and implemented in the provincial committee meeting on February 4th.

The labor law needs to be revised in time - GEFONT President

Cde. Binod Shrestha, President of the General Federation of Nepalese Trade Unions (GEFONT), emphasized the need to proceed with the ratification of ILO Conventions, formalize informal labor, and revise labor laws promptly.

Shrestha, serving as the president of GEFONT, expressed these views during his participation as a trade union representative in the Central Labor Advisory Council meeting held at the Ministry of Labor and Employment Social Security on February 1.

The Central Labor Advisory Council urged the government to ratify ILO Conventions 81 and 87, which designate the decade from 2081 to 2090 as the period for promoting domestic employment. Additionally, the council resolved to organize a labor and employment conference within the current financial year.

Challenges faced by street vendors are identical across different countries

The Asia Pacific regional meeting of Streetnet International, an international umbrella organization of self-employed street vendors from around the world, where the Nepal Street Vendors Trade Union (NEST) is affiliated, commenced on 30th January at Hotel Thamel Park in Kathmandu.

At the onset of the meeting, GEFONT President Cde. Binod Shrestha extended a warm welcome to all participants from various countries to Nepal. Trade union representatives from Nepal, India, Bangladesh, Philippines, Thailand, Belgium, Portugal, Cambodia, Ukraine, and other countries attended the meeting. Cde. Shrestha emphasized that the challenges faced by street vendors are identical across different countries. He advocated for the development of a common framework to address these issues.

Cde. Shrestha underscored that the primary concern is the dignity of work, regardless of its scale. He highlighted GEFONT's ongoing efforts towards promoting dignified work.

He mentioned that GEFONT and Nepal Street Vendors Trade Union (NEST) played a significant role in integrating street vendors into the contributory social security scheme. Additionally, he noted GEFONT's campaign aimed at enrolling 2 million workers into the contributory social security scheme.

Representatives from the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Solidarity Center shared their perspectives during the meeting, which is scheduled to continue until 2nd February.

JTUCC files a complaint with ILO against Nepal Government

GEFONT along with other Trade unions members -Joint Trade Union Coordination Centre (JTUCC) has filed the complaint   with ILo against Government of Nepal and legislature Parliament on Violation of the Trade Union Rights by curtailing right to strike in all Industrial Enterprises. 

In the complaint, it is requested ILO to take an appropriate action against the Government of Nepal to:

Repeal the provision containing anti labour provision under Industrial Enterprises Act 2016 ( Clause on Industrial Human Resource¬)

Repeal the provision containing ban on right to strike and bargaining in Special Economic Zones Act 2016, 

To repeal the Essential Service Act 1957 and the notification published under the act every six month 25th April 2016, which ban the strike on different services. We further request the Committee to make a direct request to the Government of Nepal in order to stop all kinds of unfair practices such as repeatedly issuing of prohibiting order in the name of 'Essential Services', which curtail workers' democratic rights ensured by the ILO core conventions.

To ensure that Government should amend all legislation which must be comply with ILO principle on Fundamental principle and right at work as well as constitution of Nepal. 

To take an appropriate action against the Government of Nepal in order to ensure union rights in Nepal and prior consultation with trade unions, which affect the right of the works.

Recently, the parliament has adopted the Industrial Enterprises Bill in line of the draft submitted by the Ministry of Industry. According to the preamble of the bill, the main aim is to provide facilities concession and tax rebate to industry by the government. It wants to create investment friendly environment to replace import by increasing export through enhancing national productivity and employment opportunities within the country.

The Bill contains different chapters containing Preliminary provision, Registration and Regulation of Industry, Provision on Classification of Industry and Fixed Capital structure, Creation of  Industry and Investment Promotion Board, Provision relating to Concession, Facility and Discounts to be provided to Industry,  Provision relating to Single Entry system, Provision on Sick Industry, Provision on Punishment and Appeal, and Miscellaneous Provision. None of the Chapter contains the rights, remuneration, and benefit of the workers including their duties and responsibilities.

Complain before ILO against GOV 17 Nov 2016

GEFONT Urge early release of Ms. Rojimaya Limbu

On the occasion of Migrant day 2016, GEFONT Department of Foreign Affairs issues a press note and congratulates all migrant workers who leave their country for better jobs. In the statement, GEFONT urge government of Lebanon to release Ms. Rojimaya Limbu without delay. She was arrested by government of Lebanon last week. The authority accused that she was involve in rescuing a domestic workers who is exploited by her employer. Similarity in the same allegation,   Ms. Suzana (sushila) Rana also deported from Lebanon last week.

In the statement, GEFONT also request government of of Nepal to create safe and decent working environment to workers working abroad. For the purpose, bilateral agreement should have with all destination country and that must be prepared as transparent manner.

 GEFONT urge that migrant workers should not be discriminated and should be protected by National law. Workers should have at least minimum wage, basic facility including social security.  They should have right to remit their earning through banking system.

During the recruitment workers should be free from all kind of recruitment fees and related cost and they should have access to justice in a free and fair manner, including easy exit when they want to leave the job. And most importantly, they have right to organize and bargaining collectively.