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14 July, 2023IndustriALL affiliates in Nepal have submitted a joint memorandum to the Labour Minister and Federation of Nepal Chamber of Commerce and Industries, demanding that the minimum wage be raised to NPR 26,200 (US$200).
According to Nepal’s labour law, the minimum wage is fixed every two years taking the current inflation into account. Affiliates highlight in the letter that the current minimum wage of a factory worker which is NPR 15000 (US$114), is not sufficient to ensure a decent standard of living especially considering the skyrocketing inflation.
Trade unions are demanding that industrial workers be paid on a par with a first-level government employee who gets a monthly salary of about NPR 26200 (US$200).
Amrit Lal Joshi, president of IndustriALL Global Union’s affiliate Nepal Factory Labour Union, says:
“Employers are saying that the economy is in a slump and with the production getting severely affected, it’s not possible to pay higher wages. This is unacceptable. If workers’ demands are not met, we will be forced to initiate a nationwide movement.”
Unions also point out in the letter that a large section of the workers in the country are also excluded from the social security schemes. In the absence of any social protections, workers are not even able to afford quality healthcare services.
Kemal Ozkan, assistant general secretary of IndustriALL, says:
“IndustriALL firmly stands with the demands of its Nepali affiliates. We urge the government and employers to seriously consider the demands of trade unions and ensure fair wages for workers.”