The employers might get relief — at least for the time being — as the UCPN-Maoist affiliated militant trade union has called off its strike.
The coordinator of All Nepal Federation of Trade Union (ANFTU) fifth national assembly organising committee Post Bahadur Bogati today urged the splinter trade unions of ANTUF to call of the strike.
The ANTUF splinter trade unions have called strike from July 21 to pressurise the employers on implementing minimum wage deal published in the national Gazette.
"We ask the employers to implement the minimum wage according to the national Gazette," he said, adding that the salary will have to be increased to Rs 12,400 and daily wages to Rs 650 on the basis of increased market price.Bogati has warned the fractions not to call any strike under ANTUF. "If any one found engaged in separate trade union activities, they will be punished,” Bogati added.
The workers have been striking in the name of ANFTU without the decision of authorised central committee, he said, asking them to call the strike off immediately to respect party order.
The internal dispute of three senior leaders in the UCPN-Maoists has spilled over as two splinter trade unions led by Badri Bajagai and Lal Dhoj Newang, who blamed ANTUF and its leader Salikram Jamma Katel siding with the employers.
However, Bogati said that the ANTUF is the only authorised trade union. "All the other fractions have been dissolved,” he said, adding that read.
In March 2011, following polarisation among three its leaders Puspa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’, Dr Baburam Bhattrai and Mohan Baidhya ‘Kiran’, the ANTUF had also been divided into three. Shalikram Jamm Kattel is said to be near to Dahal, while Newang has been representing Bhattarai and Bajagai has been representing Baidhya.
The Bajagai and Newang-led splinters of ANTUF signed separate agreement with the government on April 16 rejecting the Jamma Katel-led ANFTU's agreement with employers on March 24.
The Bajagai and Newang-led splinters of ANTUF fractions, along with trade unions close to Madesh-based political parties had closed industries for two weeks following March 24 agreement among the employers — Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry and Confederation of Nepalese Industries — and three major trade unions — ANFTU, Nepal Trade Union Congress (NTUC) and General Federation of Nepalese Trade Unions (GEFONT).
Though, there was no significant difference in salary hike in two different agreement, the internal dispute in UCPN-Maoist has created disturbance in the already ailing industrial sector.
The March 24 agreement had hiked salary from Rs 4,600 to Rs 6,100, while April 16 agreement has added Rs 100 more in the worker’s pocket. The daily wage was hiked from Rs 190 to Rs 226 and Rs 231 respectively.The first agreement was more progressive as it had introduced social security to workers for the first time.
The UCPN-Maoist had formed a high-level coordination committee under the coordination of Bogati in April to settle the dispute among the workers. The committee has a mandate to unite fractions of ANFTU through a national assembly.