In the history of trade union movement of Nepal, after the first generation of movement in 1947, the workers movement was limited to enterprise and local level. The movement of 1979 along with the historical student movement rose up in several cities of Nepal like Kathmandu, Hetauda and Biratnagar. The workers involved in those movements organised first National Meeting on January 29, 1980 and formed Nepal Independent Workers Union (NIWU). This union is the oldest union of GEFONT family. First affiliate among the four founding unions of GEFONT; this affiliate was also recognised as first legally registered Trade Union Federation in Department of Labour.
After GEFONT "Line-industry Campaign' in 1995 the Nepal Independent Workers Union which organised workers of all the industry sectors, regrouped into four sector-specific National Federations. The four unions were namely, Nepal Independent Chemical- Iron Workers’ Union (NICIWU), Nepal Independent Food and Beverage Workers’ Union (NIFBWU), Independent Textile Garment Workers’ Union of Nepal (ITGWUN) and Nepal Independent Workers’ Union (NIWU). An d NIWU remained as a federation which organised sectors like Leather and shoes factory, Tobacco and cigarettes factory, brick kiln and tile factory, wood carving and handicraft industry, furniture and plywood industry, tent and tarpaulin, dry cleaning, colour lab, film industry etc.