The Everest Hotel has sought permission from the Department of Labor (DoL) to lay off its entire workforce, saying that it will take months to restore the building damaged by the earthquake.
The management of the five-star hotel has applied at DoL to get rid of altogether 277 staff members as per the Labor Act 1992.
“If if, for any special circumstances, the production or service of the enterprise had to be curtailed or the enterprise has to be closed partly or wholly for more than three months, the proprietor may, with the approval of Government of Nepal through the DoL, retrench in the number of the workers and employees, partly or wholly, of the enterprise,” the act states.
Meanwhile, the workers have formed a struggle committee under the leadership of Hom Subedi to protest the decision. Subedi said the management has unilaterally decided to lay off workers and is unwilling to hold talks with them.
“All the workers, except the managerial staff, were asked to take home leave for seven days after the hotel received red sticker on May 26. The management later asked us to stay on home leave for 11 more days saying that will take time to repair the damaged structures,” Subedi said, adding, “One June 15, however, the management circulated a notice to all staffers informing the entire work force will be laid off as per the Labor Act, as it will take more than 3 months to repair damaged structures.”
The staff members have been protesting against the decision since June 16, urging the management to sit for talks. But the management is turning a deaf ear to our demand, Subedi said.
Pralhad Raj Kunwar, general manager of the hotel, told Republica that he was not in a position to make any comment. “I, myself, am also in the hotel’s lay off list,” he added.
Narayan Paudel, director of human resources and administration department of the hotel, said it was their internal issue and that they were holding talks with the staff members on how to move forward.
Subedi, however, said the management has not invited them for talks till late Monday evening.
Some workers said the ‘influenced’ officials to get the red sticker. “I feel the management connived with engineers to get red sticker so that the entire workforce can be laid off,” a worker told Republica, requesting anonymity.
The workers suspect the management was trying to lay off all the permanent workers to hire new staff members on contractual basis.