Photo: Bro. Gajendra Bahadur Paudel, President of UNICOME Nepal (Left), Mr. Kumar Bhattarai, President of BCCI- FNCCI (Right)
UNI affiliate, UNICOME Nepal, which represents commerce and retail workers, scored a historic social dialogue win in Nepal when it signed a MOU agreement with the Birtamod Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI), a branch of the Federation of Nepalese Chamber of Commerce and Industries (FNCCI), recently on 19 December.
This history making agreement was signed by Bro. Gajendra Bahadur Paudel representing UNICOME Nepal. His counterpart was Mr. Kumar Bhattarai, President of BCCI- FNCCI. The ceremony was witnessed by representatives of the local government and the Labour and Employment Office, and also by Bro. Shankar Lamichhane, President of UNI Nepal Liaison Council.
This ground breaking feat would bring more than 10,000 workers who are mostly unorganised into the protective embrace of social dialogue and improve the prospects of building healthy industrial relations with businesses and employers in the area.
Birtamod is a growing business hub located more than 400km away and east of Kathmandu. The Birtamod Chamber of Commerce and Industry currently counts over 3000 businesses as members.
A key clause in the seven-point MOU sees the creation of a joint dispute resolution mechanism which would comprise representatives from both the business chamber and UNICOME.
Another clause would strengthen the application of the country’s labour and social security laws by obliging both UNICOME and the BCCI to ensure workers in the area are provided with identity cards and regularised working conditions such as weekly leave and minimum wage.
The agreement also strengthens the cooperation to address occupational health and safety in view of the lessons learnt during the pandemic.
UNI Apro Regional Secretary, Rajendra Acharya, offers his congratulations to UNICOME Nepal, saying, “This is truly an encouraging and positive development that is needed right now during such uncertain times. I congratulate the UNICOME leadership for this accomplishment. This will definitely provide a boost to the the Nepali trade union movement and I hope more such agreements can be made in the future!”