Posted On - 02/10/2011
Sept 30- Once again Nepali media is giving wide coverage on union-management deal of March 24. Today, Central Labour Advisory Committee (CLAC) holds it's meeting nearly in 2 years, which was presided by Prime Minister Dr. Baburam Bhattarai himself. The CLAC has made 4-points decision along with overview of decisions made by previous meeting.
The four points decision says,"it is agreed that apex body of the employer's organisation-FNCCI withdraws case from the Supreme Court against the implementation of increased minimum wage. In exchange, the Govt endorses and owns 11-point collective agreements between unions and the employer's organisation."
Three points related to increase wage, adjustment date of increased wage, date of implementation and employers contribution on social security fund had been published in Gazette of May 23. The Government had altered bipartite figure of wage increment by NRs 100 in monthly wage and NRs 5 in daily wages. This endorsement has fixed the salary increment across the board by 34.78% (16.39% in basic salary and 70.97% in dearness allowance) in monthly wages. This totals NRs 6,200 minimum per month to all workers and NRs 231 per day.
To implement remaining points, 4 to 11, the govt takes necessary steps.
Out of these points, point-4 emphasised on unions' cooperation to retrench or pay-off/lay-off workers if the enterprises force to close some or whole part of its production as per existing labour act. Point- 5 reiterates effective implementation of specific provision of existing Labour Act. This provision denies wildcat strike and the workers will not get paid in the periods of such strike and closure. These clauses are unnecessarily being celebrated by business community and over magnified by media world as "No work- No Pay; Hire and Fire Rights to employers!"
This is, in fact, far from reality and much provocative. It is just an initiative to bring back backtracked existing legal practice in our labour relations.
Point-6 is related to amendment in existing labour legislation and introduction of new social security related acts. The CLAC made a decision in this point as –"all 6 draft labour legislations including social security will bring in conclusion within 3 months."
Point-7 proposed new provision for establishment of permanent tripartite Minimum Wage Board. This provision will definitely make long lasting impact. It will open way to review minimum wage annually based on consumer price index. It will, on the one hand, kill existing unfair use of "dirty-trick" of employers against unions during wage fixing period and on the other, guarantee the industrial peace. That’s why the agreement says- unions and employers are committed to "industrial peace year for 4 year!" This point has expressed commitment to solve existing difficulties between employees- employers through an Employment Summit.
Point-8 carries important commitment of employers. Any enterprise will be considered as the enterprise having fair labour relation; if there is union rights, implementation of minimum wages, CBA practices, permanent status to workers, regular deposit of employers contribution in social security fund and proper management of OSH.
Remaining points 9-11 cover workers discipline, leaves & walkout during duty periods and management of power-cut periods.
If the provision enshrined in 11-point deal is implemented as a whole, no doubt, it will guarantee industrial peace not only for 4 years, but forever! That's why the unions claim it as 'historic' initiatives and a deal of "win-win" provision.
CLAC meeting has endorsed wage increment of workers in tea plantation and authorised government to revise minimum wage for agriculture workers as well.
The CLAC decides to activate Govt decision to form tripartite mechanism of Govt, trade unions and employers' organisation from central level to the district level.
Besides three big trade unions, GEFONT together with ANTUF & NTUCI, CoNEP was another trade union participating in the meeting. FNCCI was sole representative of entire employers in CLAC.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Labour and Transport Management (MOLTM) has informed that the Govt has decided to block participating all national & international forums to 4 fringe political-union groups whose nominees for 100th Session of ILC were vanished from Geneva.