Nepal has seen a lot of labor union activism especially after 2006. The labor unions, who are dictated by political party bosses, have time and again faulted badly despite their claims that their strikes (sometimes destructive!) are aimed at exercising their rights and fair pay. Fair enough as long as it is limited to that.
But, it ain’t given their past record. Read here and here (the demand for rise in wages and perks is not matched by rise in labor productivity!). Remember this time when the unions stroke a deal with the industrialists to not go for strikes for four years? Keeping true to commitments/promises is a tall order for them. Recently, KFC and Pizza Hut were closed down (partly due to labor dispute). Difficult industrial relation/restrictive labor regulation is one of the most problematic factors for doing business in Nepal.
These aside, the mother of all demands by labor unions (affiliated to UCP (Maoist) and CPN-UML) is this: According to a news report published in Nagarik daily, workers shut down Hotel Greenwich Village demanding, among others, gold medals weighing 1kg for 20 years of service.
Demands include the following (there are 22 points in total):
- Gold medal weighing 1.01 kg for those working for 20 years and 0.550 kg for those working for 15 years in the hotel
- Hike in wages
- Health insurance of up to Rs 50,000 for family
- New clothes and shoes every six months
- Annual salary equal to 16 months of pay