At a time when the ruling parties are calling for a moratorium on all types of banda and strikes, three trade unions affiliated with the ruling parties and the main opposition party are rallying their support in favor of the international demand of the trade unions to uphold the provision of ´rights to strike´ in an ILO (International Labor Organization) convention.
Organizing a press meet in the capital on Wednesday, Nepal Affiliate Council of International Trade Union Confederation said that the dispute raised by the employer party in the ILO should be now referred to the International Court of Jurist (ICJ) for the settlement. The employer group in ILO has been denying the existence of any ´right to strike´ in the ILO Convention 87 on freedom of association since 2012. The employer group is also arguing that the interpretation jurisprudence of the convention also does not fall under ILO.
“The rules and regulations of ILO say that if employer, worker or government parties fail to resolve the dispute themselves, the case can be referred at ICJ for the solution.
The employer side is even trying to block the process of sending the dispute at ICJ,” said Bishnu Rimal, president of General Federation of Nepalese Trade Unions (GEFONT) which is affiliated to CPN-UML. “The employers are now trying to curtail the fundamental rights of the workers by denying right to strike enshrined in the ILO convention. We are trying to build a pressure on the government to take the trade union side in ILO,” he added.
GEFONT, Nepali Congress-aligned Nepal Trade Union Congress and All Nepal Trade Union Federation (ANTUF) affiliated to UCPN (Maoist) are the members of the national council.
Rimal also said the employer group was making attempts to erase the ´fundamental rights to strike´. “As we are in the constitution drafting process and ensuring such rights in the new constitution, removal of such rights from the ILO convention could also make negative impact here,” said Rimal.