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Nepal Tourism News
Posted by: | Date: October 12, 2009
Kathmandu - The Trekking Agents Association of Nepal (TAAN) and tourism workers on Sunday signed an agreement to increase the wages of workers which will be effective till December 2009. According to Bacchu Narayan Shrestha vice president of TAAN, porter’s wages will increment by Rs.150. At the meantime salaries of other workers will raise up by Rs. 100.
According to TAAN regulations, the leader of tourism workers who ascends a peak above 3700 metres with a trekking or mountaineering expedition should get a daily wage of Rs. 350. Other workers are entitled to get Rs. 300 per day.
"We will be making a new deal after December," said Shrestha. "Till than, the workers are not allowed to put forth new demands or call bandas and strikes." Tourism workers had presented a 12-point demand saying that prices were rising by 12 percent annually.
According to a memorandum submitted to TAAN by UNITRAV, a group of tourism workers, TAAN should guarantee social security for workers and form a workers' welfare fund. It has also demanded immediate rescue of workers in case of accidents and medical insurance of Rs. 200,000 and life insurance of Rs. 2,000,000. Similarly, they have also demanded permanent status for workers completing 40 days of service and temporary appointment for workers with a service period of less than 40 days.
TAAN president Sita Ram Sapkota said that they couldn't address the other demands except the wage issue. "We give as much as we can. But what if we can't?" he said. "The government should be responsible for addressing the other issues put forward by the workers."
He said that the insurance amount demanded by the workers was beyond its capacity. "No company is ready to give more than Rs. 25,000." he said
He added that the deal had been made so that the current tourist season was not affected due to labour issues. "We will be making a new agreement by Dec. 15 which will be implemented from January 2010."
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