Nepal: Maoists' workers close down 50 industries

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Kathmandu, Nov 29: Workers associated with Maoist-affiliated All Nepal Trade Union Federation have shut down about five dozen industries including eight multinational industries, local media reports said here on Saturday, Nov 29.

''They took the move, blaming entrepreneurs for not paying salaries as per the directives of the government,'' the Kantipur reported. Two months ago, the government had directed industries to pay each unskilled worker at least Rs 4,600 every month. Entrepreneurs say they are in no position to pay this much. The workers have closed down 55 industries, the paper quoted Madhav Adhikari, president of Hetauda Chamber of Commerce and Industry as saying.

Krishna Raj Koirala , Secretary of Nepal Industrial Workers' Union, which is affiliated to the Maoists, said ''they were forced to shut down the industries as entrepreneurs didn't make government-fixed payments.'' Workers began closing down the industries from early morning yesterday after the three-day ultimatum given to the industries to hike salaries expired on Thursday.

Eight industries belonging to multinational companies (MNCs) were among those shut. The Colgate Palmolive, whose ownership was transferred to Nepali entrepreneurs, has remained closed for eight days.

But the closure of industries in Hetaunda has angered the entrepreneurs. ''We could not understand the intention of the government,'' said Federation of Nepalese Chamber of Commerce and Industries chairman Kush Kumar Joshi.

''The prime minister talks about parleys while his party-men shut down factories,'' he said.

The FNCCI chairman said the entrepreneurs would not sit for talks with the government until the factories were reopened.

''Entrepreneurs have come to the conclusion that they will not be able to run businesses due to prevailing insecurity,'' he said.


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