It’s Official, Rs 6,200 Minimum Salary Gets Final Stamp of Approval

Ramesh Shrestha

Asix-month old dispute over the minimum salary for workers was resolved on Friday with the Central Labour Advisory Committee (CLAC) deciding to implement the pay hike endorsed by the government earlier. 

A CLAC meeting held on Friday after a gap of nearly two years under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai decided to implement the government fixed minimum salary of Rs 6,200, up from Rs 4,600. The resolution of the pay hike row became possible with both sides—employers and trade unions—showing flexibility. The Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) has agreed to pay the salary as published in the Nepal Gazette on May 15 by the government after the committee meeting decided to implement all the issues agreed in the 11-point agreement in March 24 between the employers’ organisations and three big trade unions—the General Federation of Nepalese Trade Unions (GEFONT), All Nepal Trade Union Federation (ANTUF) and Nepal Trade Union Congress- Independent (NTUC-I). Now, all workers excluding those working in tea estates will get a minimum monthly salary of Rs 6,200 (basic salary of Rs 3,550 and dearness allowance of Rs 2,650) and a daily wage of Rs 231, according to Man Bahadur BK, director general of the Department of Labour. “The salary provision will be effective from March 15, 2011,” said BK. “Since the government agreed to implement all the issues including “no work no pay” and industrial peace for the next four years sealed in our agreement with the trade unions, we have decided to give the salary set by the government,” said Pashupati Murarka, vice president of the FNCCI and chairman of the Employers’ Council. He added that the FNCCI would soon withdraw the case filed in the Supreme Court against the government fixed salary. In the 11-point pact, the employers’ organisations and trade unions had agreed to mark the next four years as an “industrial peace” period, ban illegal strikes in industry, implement the “no work no pay” provision to discourage strikes, get the help of trade unions to downsize the labour force, if required, and form a standing committee to fix workers’ salary.

The employers’ organisations and three trade unions had decided to increase the workers’ minimum salary by Rs 1,500 to Rs 6,100 and the daily wage to Rs 226. Later, the Ministry of Labour and Transport Management increased the salary to Rs 6,200 following increased pressure from minor trade unions and published in Nepal Gazette. However, employers’ organisations had rejected the government’s unilateral pay hike and refused to implement it. GEFONT President Bishnu Rimal said that as they had clearly set the responsibility of the employers and workers in the 11-point agreement, its implementation would help build peace in the industrial sector. “The meeting has also decided to solve labour problems through a tri-party mechanism involving the government, management and workers,” he added. Friday’s meeting has also decided to implement a social security system by introducing a law to this effect at the earliest. “The meeting has decided to devise the Social Security Act within three months including amendments to other laws related to labour,” said Salik Ram Jammarkattel, former president of the ANTUF.

Published on: 1 October 2011 | The Kathmandu Post

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