एकल ट्रेड युनियन, कसरत जारी छ: बिष्णु रिमाल
July 28th, 2010

यतिखेर श्रमिकहरूको हकहितका लागि कार्यरत विभिन्न ट्रेड युनियनहरूलाई मिलाएर एउटै बनाउने प्रयास जारी छ । नया“ जगमा स्थापना हुने लोकतान्त्रिक ट्रेड युनियनको लक्ष्यअनुरूप यस्तो एकल ट्रेड युनियनको आवश्यकता महसुस गरिएको हो ।

एकल ट्रेड युनियनका पक्षधरहरू यस्तो नया“ युनियन स्वतन्त्र, गतिशिल र लोकतान्त्रिक हुने र यसलाई देशको सिंगो श्रम शक्तिले आफ्नो ‘प्रतिनिधि’ को रूपमा गर्वका साथ स्वीकार्ने तहको हुने दाबी गर्छन् । उनीहरूका अनुसार यो युनियनमा विद्यमान ‘ठूला युनियन’ को दबदबा रहने छैन भने ‘साना’ संस्थाहरूले उपेक्षित भएको महसुस पनि गर्नेछैनन् । नयाँ एकल ट्रेड युनियनको लक्ष्य श्रमको सम्मान र श्रमजीवी वर्ग सम्मानित हुने त्यस्तो समाजको स्थापना गर्नु हो, जसको आदर्श सामाजिक न्याय तथा समतामुखी समाज हुनेछ ।

संरचना: यसको निर्माण दुई विधिबाट हुनसक्छ ।

पहिलो विधि हो विद्यमान सबै प्रकृतिका युनियनहरूलाई गाभेर एउटै बनाउने । एकल युनियन भन्नेबित्तिकै आपसमा विलय भएर एउटा नयाँ युनियन बन्ने भन्ने नै बुझिन्छ । तर नेपालको वर्तमान सन्दर्भमा भने यो विधिबाट एकल युनियन बनाउनु त्यति व्यवहारिक देखिन्न (फलामको च्यूरा चपाउनु सरह हुनेछ) । यहा“ विभाजित मनस्थितिमा रहेका युनियनहरू एक अर्काका प्रतिद्वन्द्वीझैं देखिन्छन् । अरूभन्दा आफू अगाडि र बढी क्रान्तिकारी देखिने होडमा बेलामौकामा श्रमिकको हकहित सुनिश्चित गर्ने उत्तरदायित्व बोकेका यी युनियनहरूले प्रकारान्तरमा श्रमिककै अहित हुने प्रकृतिका काम समेत गरेका उदाहरणहरू पनि थुप्रै छन् । यो विधिबाट एकल युनियनको स्थापना गर्नु कत्तिको गाह्रो छ भन्ने कुरा बुझ्न धेरै टाढा जानु पर्दैन, जापानकै उदाहरण पर्याप्त हुनसक्छ । जापानको ट्रेड युनियन कन्फेडेरेसन–रेन्गो करिब एक दर्जन युनियनहरू विलय भएर बनेको एकल युनियन हो तर यो प्रक्रिया पूरा हुन झन्डै ४० वर्ष लागेको थियो ।

दोस्रो विधि भनेको समग्रतामा समानुपातिक प्रतिनिधित्व रहेको नयाँ संगठनको स्थापना हो । अर्थात् एउटा त्यस्तो युनियनको स्थापना गर्ने जहाँ आवाजचाहिं एउटै हुन्छ तर युनियनचाहि“ धेरै हुन्छ । यो एक प्रकारको छाता संगठन नै हो । यो विधिमा सदस्यताको आधारमा प्रतिनिधित्वको सुचिश्चित गरिन्छ । अर्थात केन्द्रीय तहको संरचना श्रमिकहरूको राष्ट्रिय निर्वाचनद्वारा निर्माण गरिन्छ । त्यस्तो निर्वाचनमा प्राप्त मत प्रतिशतअनुसार नै केन्द्रीय नेतृत्वमा स्थान दिने विधिलाई यसमा आधार बनाउन सकिन्छ । नेपालका शिक्षक संगठनहरूले लगभग यस्तै प्रकृतिको संगठन– नेपाल शिक्षक युनियनको गठन गरिसकेका छन् ।

एकल युनियनले राजनीतिक दलहरूको गुण र दोषको आधारमा समर्थन, सहयोग र विरोध गर्नेछ । हाल अभ्यासमा रहेको जस्तो ‘भ्रातृ सम्बन्ध’, ‘संरक्षक र संरक्षित’ वा ‘स्थायी विपक्षी’ को सम्बन्धलाई बढावा दिइनेछैन । यस युनियनका सदस्यहरूलाई आफूखुसी जुनसुकै दल रोज्ने, भोट हाल्ने, समर्थन र आलोचना गर्ने अधिकार हुन्छ ।

एकल युनियन निर्माणतर्फको प्रगति

एकल युनियनको प्रवद्र्धकको रुपमा कार्यरत नेपाल ट्रेड युनियन महासंघ (जिफन्ट) र नेपाल ट्रेड युनियन कांग्रेस (एनटीयूसी) ले बाँकी सबै ट्रेड युनियनलाई एकल युनियनको छाताभित्र ल्याउन संयुक्त सचिवालय मार्फत सहकार्य गरिरहेका छन् । गत वर्षको नोभेम्बर २ तारिखका दिन गठन भएको अन्तरराष्ट्रिय ट्रेड यूनियन महासंघ (आइटियूसी) को जिफन्ट, एनटीयूसी र नेपाल प्रजातान्त्रिक ट्रेड युनियन महासंघ (डिकोन्ट) संस्थापक घटक बनेपछि एक प्रकारले तीनवटा संगठन वीचको सहकार्यमा घोषित÷अघोषित समझदारी बनि सकेको छ भने गत डिसेम्बर २ तारिखका दिन माओवादीसम्बद्ध अखिल नेपाल ट्रेड युनियन महासंघसंग पनि साझा घोषणा पत्रमा हस्ताक्षर भइसकेको छ । पछिल्लो उदाहरणको रुपमा मे १ का दिन श्रमिक दिवस मनाउंदा उल्लेखित ३ महसंघमा अन्य ६ वटा संगठन सामेल हुनुलाई यसै दिशामा प्रगति मान्न सकिन्छ । नया“ एकल युनियनको स्थापनाको सहमतिका साथसाथै यसका लागि आवश्यक नयाँ श्रम ऐन ल्याउने कसरत पनि भइरहेको छ ।

यसैबीच अन्तर्राष्ट्रिय श्रम संगठन (आईएलओ) ले नेपालको श्रम बजारको अध्ययन गरेको छ । विद्यमान श्रम ऐनमा संशोधन गर्ने प्याकेज, ट्रेड युनियन ऐन आईएलओको अभिसन्धीस“ग मिल्ने छ वा छैन र सामाजिक सुरक्षालाई विशेष प्राथमिकता दिइएको उक्त अध्ययनले पनि एकल युनियनका लागि आवश्यक नयाँ श्रम ऐन बनाउन सहयोग मिल्ने विश्वास गरिएको छ ।

आईएलओका विज्ञहरूले २–३ महिना अध्ययन गरेपछि तयार गरेको श्रम बजारसम्बन्धी प्रतिवेदन आगामी जुनसम्ममा एक कार्यक्रम मार्फत छलफलमा ल्याउने तयारी भइरहेको छ । गत मार्चमा नै उक्त कार्यक्रम आयोजना गर्ने तयारी रहेको थियो तर अन्तरिम सरकार बनी नसकेको कारण अप्रिलमा सारिएको थियो । पछि अन्तरिम सरकारमा माओवादी सामेल भएपश्चात पनि सरकारी अन्यौल विद्यमान भएका कारण उक्त कार्यक्रम अझै पछि सरेको बताइन्छ ।

आईएलओले आफ्नो अध्ययनमा तीनवटा बु“दामा बढी जोड दिएको छ । ती हुन्ः रोजगारको सिर्जना कसरी गर्न सकिन्छ, विशेष आर्थिक क्षेत्रको आवश्यकता छ कि छैन र बढ्दो शिक्षित बेरोजगारीको समस्यालाई कसरी समाधान गर्ने ।

अन्त्यमा, एकल युनियनका लागि सिद्धान्ततः सबै ट्रेड युनियनहरू सकारात्मक छन् । अखिल नेपाल ट्रेड युनियन महासंघबाहेक अन्य छवटा युनियनहरूले यसका लागि सहकार्य पनि थालिसकेका छन् । त्यसो त अखिल नेपाल ट्रेड युनियन महासंघ पनि यसको विपक्षमा छैन । यसै सिलसिलामा ट्रेड युनियन समन्वय समितिको गठनको प्रस्ताव जिफन्ट र एन्टीयूसीले आप्mनो द्विपक्षीय समझदारी पत्र सार्वजनिक गर्ने क्रममा गरिसकेको छन् । तर फेरि पनि कुरा आउ“छ, राजनीतिक संक्रमणकालको । यो संक्रमणकाल जति लम्बिदै जान्छ, त्यतिकै राजनीतिक अस्थिरता पनि बढेर जानेछ र राजनीतिक स्थिरताबिना एकल युनियन पनि सम्भव देखि“दैन ।

(जिफन्टका उपाध्यक्ष रिमालस“गको कुराकानीमा आधारितः सरस्वती कर्माचार्यले तयार पारेको तथा जेठ १४, २०६४ को आजको अभियानमा प्रकाशित)

‘You Cannot Expect The Labor Movement To Be Apolitical
July 28th, 2010

BISHNU RIMAL, general secretary of GEFONT, has been in the labor movement for a long time. Rimal spoke to various issues related to trade unions. Excerpts:

What is happening to the unification process of GEFONT and NTUC?

We have set up a task force, which is working out the procedure for the merger of two unions. We have already identified some areas of common concern like the gender issues at the workplace. We had jointly launched the agitation on the service charge issues. If we have a united trade union, it will benefit employers as well as employees.

It is said that Nepalese trade unions are creating hurdles for foreign investment by making unnecessary demands within a rigid Labor Act. How do you look at it?

There is no truth in this. We have maintained good relations with employers in the establishment of foreign investment. In Soaltee Crown Plaza, Nepal Lever Limited and other five-star hotels, there are very good relations between employers and employees.

Where are you facing more problems?

We have problems in the small hotels and small industries where the employers do not want to implement† the laws. If the laws are implemented correctly, nobody would have to worry. There are better relations in the garment industry.

You mean trade unions are not creating any problems?

That’s right. We have not created any problems. Nepal Battery shut down due to the disputes with the Nepalese executives and Nirula’s was shut down because of other reasons. Nepal’s labor moment is constructive. Of course, it was wild in its early stage. But now it is very manageable and disciplined.

How do you see the frequent disturbances like strikes in factories and industrial establishments?

There were a small number of individual strikes, but you cannot see major collective strikes. The number of strikes is coming out. There is a tendency now to lock out the hotels.

How do you see politicization in the trade unions?

You cannot expect the labor movement to be apolitical, since it has to deal with economic, political and other issues. So, it is natural to have politicians to lead the trade unions. If you see in general, there is ratio of 10 percent politicians and 90 percent workers at the organizational level. We have three different trade unions representing three different political ideologies.

Coverstory Interview of Spotlight weekly magazine (VOL. 22, NO. 43, MAY 09 –  MAY 15 2003)

Myself
July 18th, 2010

President, GEFONT

Born on May 30, 1962 in Nuwakot, a mid-hill district

Married and father of 2 kids (1 son, 1 daughter); a graduate in management along with the civil engineering background

Founder Secretary-General of GEFONT

Before the establishment of GEFONT in 1989, a political organiser for some years

He was member of first Constituent Assembly (May 2008-May 2012); Nepal’s Legislature-parliament

Following is his self-portrait:

Innocently I was dragged to political activities since 1976. I came in touch with All Nepal National Free Student’s Union popularly known as Akhil or ANNFSU (later I knew that was related to the then Communist Party of Nepal –4th Congress faction) through my primary school teacher. Due to bad public image of that Sir—I denied to be the member in 1976, when I was student of Grade 8 in Trishuli High School-a old higher secondary school of my home district.

I was fun of Ideal myth and was inspired by Mao. But really I don’t know what is the Mao-Ze–Dong thought! I had very gloomy and funny idea that Lenin is the person for reform and Mao for total revolution. Thus as a teenage adventurism I had favoured Mao. The year 1976, when I heard news on Radio Nepal that Mao had died, with no reason I became sad.

In 1978, I came to Kathmandu and early 1979 joined Institute of Engineering. This place remoulded me—spontaneously, I joined student movement of 1979. Then, Referendum had been declared; I followed things what the then CPN (ML) group prescribed. Still I was ignorant and somehow under anarchist attitude. Slowly without proper attention I became one of the activists of the then CPN-ML.

I had 24th position in IOE; that was enough to join higher education in USSR. I don’t know why I denied applying for scholarship; anyway it was my personal decision not to go Russia. Then I changed my track, and involved fully in Political activities. It was the year 1981.

My primary job in political movement was as courier from party HQ to different rank –n-file leaders.Then shifted to publication and design work. I stationed in a Den where senior underground leaders made it their safe shelter. Slowly I was pushed to organise political class in Lalitpur district, particularly in City and campuses. I never wished and allowed to work in student organisation; however nobody was far from student politics at that time. Then I was asked to work with Trade Unions. At that time no educated people showed their interest work on Mazdoor Sangathan (Trade Union). It was not my choice but I was offered with this responsibility.

By the year 1989, I was fully succumbed in Trade Union activities. As a political organiser I entered into the union and involved to launch a ‘Giant Confederation’ GEFONT as founder Secretary General. After 15 years of my service, from the 4th National Congress of GEFONT I quit from the post of GEFONT Secretary General. In 2004, I was elected Vice-chairman responsible to Planning & research. As the chief of the GEFONT Central Planning Commission my responsibility is to carry-out research & planning work along with other commissioners. My routine work is to coordinate GEFONT’s several project as well.

Now I have been elected president of GEFONT from 5th Congress which was held at April 4-7, 2009.

(He has re-elected president of GEFONT for second term by its 6th National Congress held in  March 2014)

I have been given responsibility to represent GEFONT in numbers of labour related committees and commission of the Country including international forums.

During the course of struggle, I have been arrested several times and jailed. In 1984 in connection with National teachers’ agitation, I was arrested and sentenced for 9 months. During the time of popular movement 1990, I was one of the members of Valley Action Committee. Just 12 days after of the popular movement, I was arrested and jailed for 35 days. Working in pure political work in party thus became my side business only.

(Mobile: + 98510-59033/ E-mail: bishnu@gefont.org)

>> Download pdf file of Bishnu’s CV

>> Download pdf file of Bishnu_CV in Nepali

द्वन्दबाट रुपान्तरणतिर
July 10th, 2010

द्वन्दबाट रुपान्तरणतिर

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Revisiting Our Labour Market
July 9th, 2010

There have been countable achievements in the world of Nepali workers during these 12 years. The institutional development of the trade unions, establishment of rights and legal bases, publication of valuable materials on Workers Education and Training, exchanges of experiences, increased participation in different national and international forums, and increased capability of policy intervention are some examples in this context.

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The Social Charter:A South Asian Trade Union Perspective
July 9th, 2010

The central point of the trade union demand today is to put an end to the adverse effects of globalisation, effects such as massive job losses, new job creation in poorly paid informal sectors, restructuring of enterprises to face competition, slowdown in industrial growth, growth mainly in the service sector and growing industrial sickness imposed by the globalising finance capital.

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