Nepal Court rescues Indian JV from shut down

A Nepalese court has rescued Surya Nepal, an Indian joint venture tobacco company from being shut down indefinitely.

Kathmandu: A Nepalese court has rescued Surya
Nepal, an Indian joint venture tobacco company from being shut
down indefinitely by issuing a stay order against a strike by
its pro-Maoist trade union, even as the fear of unrest still
hangs on.

The Nepal Multinational Companies` Workers Union (NMCWC),
has threatened to shut down the tobacco company situated in
Hetauda of southern Nepal for indefinite period to press for
higher wages and perks for its labourers.

Although the Patan Appellate Court has issued the stay
order against the pro-Maoist trade union against the strike,
the fear of labour unrest still hangs on in the factory, as
repeated attempts by the management for negotiation with the
workers have failed so far.

Though, both the sides, the management and the trade
union, have agreed to resume talks in an attempt to hammer out

The trade union is demanding Rs. 10,000 additional
allowance to their monthly salary to meet the government`s
criteria of minimum basic salary. However, the management
claims that they have already met the criteria of minimum
basic wages.

The Appellate Court has also summoned the management
representatives and trade union officials for hearing on April
5 to ascertain the rationale behind the strike.

The trade union had on Wednesday threatened to
indefinitely shut down the industry from Monday if the company
did not fulfill its 11-point demands.

"We have deferred our strike for now," said Beni Prasad
Timilsina, president of NMCWC. He said that the trade union
officials will appear before the court as per its order.

"We will take decision on our future course of action
depending on what the Court says on the issue," he added.

The trade union members said they are firm on their
stance, though they maintained that the court’s decision will
be honoured.

The union has also refused to let go its demand that seek
job guarantee to off springs of staff in case they die while

"These are our bottom line," he stated, adding that the
union has dropped its demands like raise in medical insurance
and compulsory residential quarters for workers.

Some three-four months ago continued labour unrest had
forced the Surya Nepal to shut down its garment unit which,
produces John Players brand of clothes, as it was incurring a
huge loss.