Tuesday, September 09, 2008


Workers in Nepal are facing a wave of violence including the killing of several unionists in recent days.

Katipur Report says health workers in Rautahat on Monday called an indefinite shut down of health services except emergency treatment in the district to protest against the killing of a heath worker.

Surendra Yadav, district chairman of Nepal Health Workers Union, was shot dead by unidentified gunmen Sunday night. According to the police, Yadav was shot in the head at Yaanagar-Sankhuwa road section when he was returning home from Garuda Bazaar at 9 pm. He died on the spot.

Nepal CMA Association, NHWA, Madhesi Health Workers' Forum (MHWF) and Civil Servants' Organisation (CSO) called an indefinite health strike in the district.

"Putting forward four demands, the agitating health workers struck work in all government offices," said Radheshyam Jha district chairman of CSO.

"Civil servants are feeling insecure after Yadav's murder. So we halted work in all government offices to press for security of all civil servants," he said.

"Work in government offices will not resume until Yadav was declared a martyr, the culprits were booked, the bereaved family was compensated and security of civil servants was guaranteed," he said.

The government employees in Parsa district also stopped their work today protesting against the killing. Work in all government offices in Gaur, the district headquarters of Rautahat, was halted on Tuesday.

Also, two union workers were shot dead ten days ago and dozens injured by attacked a picket line in an iron-steel company- the Narayani Rolling Mlls. It is believed that the incident was at the request of the management of company.

The following is from the International Trade Union Confederation.

Nepal: Killings and Mass Arrests of Trade Unionists

Brussels, 9 September 2008: The ITUC strongly condemns the killing of two trade union members from Narayani Rolling Mills in the Bara District in Nepal, and the excessive violence subsequently used by the Nepal police against peaceful trade union protesters on Wednesday 3 September.

Kebal Raut and Krishna Yadav were shot by the police when they tried to hand over a package of workers’ demands to their company management, Narayani Rolling Mills. Raut and Yadav were active members of the Nepali Factory Workers’ Union (NFWU), an affiliate of the ITUC-affiliated Nepal Trade Union Congress – Independent (NTUC-I) that was engaged in collective bargaining talks with the company management.

During a peaceful protest in Kathmandu, the police arrested 80 trade union leaders, including Santosh Rajyamajhi, general secretary of the United Telecom Ltd (UTL) workers’ trade union. The protest was in support of a union demand for an end to the system of temporary contracts for workers, for better working conditions and for the proper application of Nepal’s labour and trade union laws. Violence was used by the police during the arrest and many of the workers were injured, including wounded by bullets. The workers were detained at Mahendra police station and released in the evening.

In a letter sent to the authorities , the ITUC urges the government to ensure that Nepali police forces refrain from violence, that a fair compensation is provided to the family of deceased workers and to those injured and, finally, that the workers demands are met.

“Systematic repression against trade unionists must stop,” said Guy Ryder, ITUC general secretary. ”A newly established democracy like Nepal should not accept this violence, especially because Nepal is obliged to respect core labour standards, by virtue of its membership of the International Labour Organisation (ILO),” he added.

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