Nepal Minister of Labour: ‘UNI unions have huge role in country’s future’
During his inaugural speech at the recent 5th UNI NLC Regional Conference, 6 December 2018, in Kathmandu, Nepal, Minister of Labour, Employment and Social security, Gokarna Bista, underlined the importance of UNI affiliated unions to Nepal’s future.
Minister Mr. Bista said UNI unions, as the voice of services, skills and various newly growing sector, had a huge role to play in Nepal.
The minister also highlighted the recent achievements and efforts made by his ministry in introducing amendments to the Labour law, Trade Union Act, & Social Security Act, as well as raising the minimum wage.
He also showed his appreciated for the role of trade unions in putting the new rules and regulation into practice to benefit both workers and the country.
As a special guest of honor, speaking at the opening of the conference, Brother Minao Noda- President of UNI Apro praised the Nepalese trade unions for their achievements despite the multiple of challenges they faced. He also emphasized that good industrial relations were a bedrock of progress and growth.
In her video message, Christy Hoffman, General Secretary of UNI Global Union said the theme of the conference ‘Building Union Power in Future World of Work’ was on topic. Hoffman said, “Building union power, organising and collective bargaining are the ways we are going to have an impact on the Future World Work. Don’t let anyone tell you we don’t have the tools to fight back. We are breaking through for workers around the world as you are here in Nepal.”
UNI Apro Regional Secretary Christopher Ng in his keynote address explored how the changing world of work was creating new challenges for trade union organizing, giving examples from his vast global experience and showing his appreciation for the significant efforts of the Nepalese unions in overcoming obstacles.
During the plenary session there was an extensive discussion by the top leadership from the national centers and UNI affiliates on a range of issues, including Breaking Through and Organizing.
Four unions received the UNI NLC Breaking Through Award in different categories: (i) Organising Award to FIEUN- Finance union; (ii) Best Negotiation CBA Award to NETU-Ncell Trade Union; (iii) Innovative Union Award to IMPRESSION- Graphical Union; and (iv) Building Union Power Award to ANSWU- Private security union.
More than 200 delegates from 18 affiliates representing 200 unions of 9 UNI sectors attended the conference. FES Country Director, FNV Mondiaal South Asia representative, FNCCI – the umbrella organization of Employers extended their solidarity to the conference.
Finally, Mr. Shankar Lamichhane from UNICTS Nepal was re-elected as the President of UNI NLC for a further 4-year term. Also elected were 11 members on the Management Committee representing unions from each sector, and the Executive Board.
The UNI NLC welcomed and expressed its commitment to host the 5th UNI Apro Regional Conference in November 2019 in Kathmandu. Conference resolved various issues and adopted an action plan for UNI NLC. In closing, Rajendra Acharya- Assistant Regional Secretary, congratulated newly re-elected President Lamichhane and the Management Committee of UNI NLC.