The fight between employers and employees has hit the Nepalese market again. Those employed want higher wages and better working conditions while those employing cite poor profitability and low sales for meagre wages. The higher wages demanded by the unions in the southern part of Nepal has led to the closure of multinationals like Coke and Carlsberg.
The Statesman writes:
Multinationals such as Coke and Carlsberg Beer, as well as more than 30 local factories in southern and central Nepal have closed their factories after “impractical demands” by labour unions…..Multinationals such as Coke and Carlsberg Beer, as well as more than 30 local factories in southern and central Nepal have closed their factories after “impractical demands” by labour unions.
This seems to have severe repurcussions in the economy. A day lost without work is lost forever. Hence all the production that can be done in that day is also thrown down the drain. Moreover, the poor people in Nepal will suffer the most. They are the people who need to work the most and with the closure of these industries, many are feared to be left without work. Statesman writes that more than 40,000 workers are going to suffer from the shut-down of the industries.
It is indeed a sad thing to witness in a country like Nepal. It is reported that the unions wanted to raise the minimum wage to 10,000 rupees while the government estimation of minimum wage is around 3500 rupees a month. This sounds a little insane to me. How can people in Nepal expect a minimum wage of 10,000 rupees?
Come on, the unions are going insane. They need to assess the situation properly. However, the real story seems to be the competition among the unions themselves. If one union fights for the workers, other unions feel compelled to fight for their members in fear of losing members to other unions. So, this seems to have contributed to these insane actions.
We need to grow up and be realistic. We should let the market decide the wages. After all we have high level of unemployment and the best way to solve this problem is to allow people to operate freely, remove minimum wages, support private property and liberty and build infrastrustures. If we continue to see the multinationals closed, we are for a deep crisis. We need to curb the power of unions to force employers. That way we will see more employment and growth.
(source:The Statesman, June 24,06,www.thestatesman.net)