July 29: The issue of workers’ payment by industries during the lockdown period has finally been sorted out after four months.
The employers reached an understanding with the umbrella organisation of workers on Tuesday (July 28) for the payment during the Nepali months of Chaitra (mid-March to mid-April), Baishakh and Jestha.
The payment issue for the month of Ashad (mid-June to mid-July) has not become much of a problem as the industries started deploying workers shift-wise and the payment has been assured accordingly.
As per the agreement reached between the two sides, workers in the formal sector will get full salary for the month of Chaitra. Meanwhile, the salary of Baishakh and Jestha will be reduced by 50 percent despite the workers being unable to attend office due to lockdown.
With this agreement, the long standing issue of payment in the hotel industry, restaurants, as well as other organisations has come to an end.
The bilateral agreement between the employers and the trade unions will be submitted to a task force under the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security, informed Bharat Raj Acharya, deputy chairman of the Employment Council.
The ministry had formed the task force to sort out the payment issue during lockdown. The task force had held several rounds of meeting with both sides but failed to resolve the issue. It then instructed the warring sides to sort out the contentious issue themselves.
Representatives of the employers led by chairman of the Employment Council of the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) Chandra Prasad Dhakal had been relentlessly trying to settle the issue amicably.
Meanwhile, vice chairman Acharya said that it is not possible to create new employment opportunities at the moment while it is also imperative to ensure the welfare of workers involved in the formal sector. In such a situation, the employers have decided to retain the workforce by deploying the workers in different shifts and to ensure minimum payment for them.