IMPACT OF GLOBALIZATION AND INITIATION OF TRADE UNION WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO THE INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS IN NEPAL
Paper presented for discussion in Industrial Relation and Labor Policies Seminar jointly organized by Nepal
Trade Union Congress (NTUC) and Japan Industrial Labour Foundation
In Kathmandu, Nepal on 12-13 December 2013 Kathmandu, Nepal
IMPACT OF GLOBALIZATION AND INITIATION OF TRADE UNION
WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO THE INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS
WHAT IS GLOBALIZATION?
Globalization that defines time exclusively after the fall of Berlin Wall means many things. It
is freer movements of goods, services, capitals, ideas, cultures, knowledge across the state
It also represents social and political to economic and environmental movements that joins
people, countries, and societies around the world.
Similarly, globalization joins cultures - develops, improves, and facilitate people share it
across the globe that has given birth to a new global civil society. It also unites people, shares
their stakes, and helps each other to meet the challenges they face.
However, this paper is concerned with one aspect of globalization that is economic.
On this background, the three definitions given below have defined what globalization is in
Reputed American journalist, columnist and author Thomas L. Friedman has defined
globalization as – “the inexorable integration of markets, transportation systems, and
communication systems to a degree never witnessed before – in a way that is enabling
corporations, countries, and individuals to reach around the world farther, faster, deeper,
and cheaper than ever before, and in a way that is enabling the world to reach into
corporations, countries, and individuals farther, faster, deeper, and cheaper than ever
Acclaimed American economist of Indian origin Jagdish Bhagwati mentions that although
globalization mean many thing but when focused exclusively on economic globalization it
“constitutes integration of national economies into the international economy through trade,
direct foreign investment ( by corporations and multinationals), short-term capital flows,
international flows of workers and humanity generally, and flows of technology. . . .” (2)
According to one of the most read economist of our time and a noble laureate Joseph E.
Stiglitz, globalization is “closer economic integration of the countries of the world through
the increased flow of goods and services, capital and even labor”. (3)
Globalization has miraculously enlarged scope for people and countries that have dream to do
better and are committed to be productive and creative however, it has marginalized many
countries and communities – while has created enormous new opportunities for others. The
big questions remains WHY SO ? Perhaps we can answer the question after we end this
Brief Historical Background of Globalization
Globalization of modern era is young but according to Friedman from mid-1800s to the late
1920s the world experienced similar era of globalization as we have today when compared to
volume of trade, capital and labor flows across borders relative to GNPs and population.(4)
Friedman further states that the World War I and the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia that
divided the world into two ideological camps - abruptly ended the first era of globalization.
The Great Depression followed it. (5)
Only two differences are discernible between the two eras of globalization. While
Globalization I was technologically characterized by the revolution in transport facilities and
politically by the British power, British pound, and British navy. However, Globalization II - is
identified by the Information and Communication technology under the political domination
of American dollar, American culture, American power, and American navy.
John Maynard Keynes was one of the most reputed economists of the last century. His ideas
and works are highly appreciated and discussed among all the great economists of our time
and he is considered relevant in solving present economic crisis experienced especially in
America and Europe. Keynes, while writing about the “Economic Possibilities for Our Grand
children” predicted in 1930 that there would be no poverty in Britain and other industrial
countries by the end of 20th Century. Keynes meant that during the time of his grand children
there will be no poverty in his part of the world.
That time it was quite unbelievable. The world was living under the dire circumstances of
the “Great Depression”. Everywhere there was deep despair, pessimism, and joblessness and
homelessness. Currency notes in many countries were almost worthless. Take an example only on Tuesday, October 29, 1929, the market in the U.S., lost some $14 billion. The loss for
that week was an astounding $30 billion. This was ten times more than the annual federal
budget and far more than the U.S. had spent in WW I. Germany was worst hit and Japan was
Keynes had some solid ground for this great prediction. He was convinced that because of the
dramatic march of the science and technology and the ability of the economy in absorbing
advanced technology, it could happen. Moreover, really that happened, but much earlier
than he anticipated. In industrialized countries, the generation of his grand children could not
see poverty. It was eliminated during the lifetime of Keynes children.
Many countries attained growth of 7 percent a year, sustained over 25 years was never heard
before the latter half of 20th Century. When economy became more open and integrated, it
allowed countries to import ideas, technologies, and knowhow from any country in the world.
(6) Foreign Direct investment, foreign education, research, and innovation in advanced
countries helped companies and individuals in developing countries find strong and lasting
networks that helped their countries reinvent their economies.
Economic Globalization is yet to reach in Nepal
Although located between world‟s second and fourth largest economies- China and India,
Nepal is yet to realize how globalization helps in solving its economic woes. The global
market has overwhelmingly intruded Nepali markets, has become a part of it, but Nepal has
yet to build its market ability to reach the global markets with the exceptions of a few agro
based products. Besides, being integrated with global markets, Nepal‟s many villages and
household economy is yet to be Integrated into national economy.
The state hardly reaches to them with its services, but this saved the country from being
collapsed during the decade long armed insurgency, and continued political instability. The
insurgency left many parts of the country disconnected with the national mainstream. It
destroyed billions of physical and institutional assets of Nepal and drove Nepal away from the
first stream of globalization. Referring to DFID sources Prof. Hari Bansh Jha mentions that and
the conflict consumed some 8 to 10 per cent of the GDP of Nepal. (7)
According to the National Peace Campaign the estimated cost of the conflict between 1996
and 2003, was to the level of $66.2 billion, however its economic costs were estimated some
$2 billion. (8) Citing an assessment based on an empirical study of 93 countries, a research
study states that Nepal lost some 15.4 percent of GDP. (9)
For insurgency, Nepal miserably missed the economic opportunities offered by globalization,
however its immediate neighbors exploited all such prospects and enhanced their economy.
Because of conflict, thousands of most productive working age populations were engaged in
war. They were killed and became disabled. Those not engaged were displaced and migrated
to Gulf countries, Malaysia, South Korea and some in Europe and America. The war not only
damaged the physical infrastructures, industries, and the morale of the entrepreneurs, it
snatched the trust of the youth work force in the country and on the government of the
In short, socio-political, economic, and ethnic unrest has painfully disturbed Nepal‟s economy
Nepal‟s leading English language daily - The Himalayan Times has published a terrible story in
this regard. Giving reference to a global survey‟ published by the Gallup World Poll‚ 2012.
(10) It says that due to the absence of job opportunities “lack of confidence in the
government‚ fewer employment opportunities‚ and social pressure‚ more of the younger
population have developed an intention to migrate permanently to another country”.
According to Young people‟s intention to migrate permanently to another country‚“Over 27
per cent of the youth aged between 25 to 34 had an intention to migrate permanently to
another country‚ while a little less than 20 per cent of the youth aged between 15 and 24
intended to migrate permanently to another country in 2011”, the paper states. (11)
According to the Third Nepal Living Standards Survey (NLSS-III), absolute poverty declined in
Nepal by 5.7 percent between 2003-04 and 2009/10.
The first such survey in 1995-96 had recorded 41.76 percent of the population living below
the poverty line. In the second survey in 2003/04, it came down to 30.85 and the last round
of survey 2010/11 says it is approximately one quarter of the total population, but
geographical variants in poverty remains. Because of this rural poverty remains high in
mountainous regions especially in Mid Western and Far western regions.
A study made by Oxford University (12) says that among the 22 countries from every
geographic region in the developing world, Nepal has made the fastest progress in reducing
Multidimensional Poverty (MPI) in a five-year period (2006-2011). It went down from 65% to
However, it is not the economy of the country that caused this decline in poverty in Nepal,
but is influenced mainly by inflows of remittances. According to government sources, some
2,000 youths seek permission for foreign employment every day. About 2.5 million people are
reported to have been employed in Gulf countries, South Korea and Malaysia. If people
working in India where Nepali nationals do not need visas are accounted including some other
countries where they are living and working without legal documents – the number of youth
migrants from Nepal reach some 5 millions.
The health of a country’s economy is examined by the balance of trade in its favor and that in case
of Nepal is terribly disastrous. Nepali export is limited to around some 13-14 percent – those also
mainly primary products, whereas the import has reached around some 86-87 percent. It is
dependent even upon vegetables, fruits, meats, and grains. To celebrate festivals like Dashain and
Tihar it has to import goats, flowers, and dried fruits worth of billions. The bills for all these
payment come from remittances.
The remittances cover some one quarter of its economy and if the remittances earned by people
working in India and other countries and brought into the country by none banking channel is
calculated, it claims the single largest share in national economy that accounts more than one-third
share. Those mainly unskilled young workers employed in foreign land are making national economy
In 1950 average Nepalese was 19 times poorer than average US citizen was, but in 2008 the gap
widened and Nepal became 27 times poorer (13) The gap has widened and by now, average US
citizen nearly earns 29 times that of the average Nepalese. Before China and India liberalized its
economy, Nepal was in much better position and now to make any comparison with them is nothing
more than a useless job.
Industrial Development in Nepal
Democracy more than a formal political system, is a culture of living and working together
and sharing each other’s stakes in a society. It is a force of human activities unleashed and
disciplined by freedom itself and it is freedom of the people –that works as the biggest
force of economic growth and development. Therefore, unless everyone enjoys democracy
at homes, schools, hospitals, streets, parks, and shops and at working place, nations, or
society can never prosper. Under some kind of controlled regime too, they have achieved
huge economic progress, but after such progress, it is democracy or natural flow of
peoples’ power that can sustain them for long.
Industrial revolution that brought a new era in Europe in the eighteenth Century, entered late
in Asian mainland and South Asia. Nepal was no exception. Under some public and private
initiatives, few industries were opened in Nepal only after the Second World War. During the
Panchayat regime (1960-1990) –a period of direct rule of the king, various industrial estates at
different parts of the country were established under government initiatives. Hundreds of
other industries were opened. Some of the industries did very well.
However, in the absence of political and economic freedom, private initiatives were much
discouraged and independent labor unions were banned. There were few professional bodies
representing teachers, medical practitioners, journalists, and lawyers- but they had to work
under a limited mandate.
Only after the restoration of multi-party democracy in 1990 private sector came with huge
enthusiasm. Labor unions came into existence. Buzzing Industrial environment and trade
union movement came together and naturally, it demanded a new definition of industrial
relations not heard earlier.
The new elected government after the 1990 popular movement - liberalized its economy.
Private investment in manufacturing and service sector reached in an unprecedented scale.
Some multinationals companies - mainly from India came with big promises. The construction
sector and infrastructure development gained a new momentum.
According to Department of Industry total number of industries categorized under different
sectors from agro and energy based to manufacturing, minerals, service, construction, and
tourism since then are some 2335 ( 2012 figure). The numbers of small-scale industries are
calculated around some 3000 excluding home based cottage industries. These industries have
employed some half a million workers. However, there are only 10 labor offices scattered
around the country in charge of executing the labor related enactments. There is a single
labor court in Nepal to decide all labor related cases.
Including those industries teachers in public school system, civil servants, and employees in
state owned finance and banking sectors have rights to join trade unions. They have rights of
collective bargaining and rights to strike however, the government has declared 16 sectors as
essential service sectors that includes public transport, banking, health care and security.
The government may prohibit strikes, if considers the strike hampering peace and interests of
Restoration of democracy in 1990 was followed by the enactment of Labor Act 1992, Trade
Union Act 1993, Labor Rules, and Regulations 1994. These enactments brought industrial
relation into prominence. These laws and regulations have created some tripartite structures
to mediate, arbiter, fix minimum remuneration, bonded labor rehabilitation, and monitoring
committee as well as social security fund management provisions.
Better Industrial Relations: Democracy at the work place
Industrial relations play a crucial role in establishing and maintaining industrial democracy.
(14) This means democracy for the workers at their working place.
Conflicts are inherent and inevitable in state and society. So is the case with industries.
Industrial conflicts in organizations are natural and unavoidable; but it is manageable. When
managed well it commands huge success and achievements. Managing conflicts means
employing cordial relationships and sharing each-others stakes between employers and
employee to perform their crucial roles effectively and efficiently.
Industrial relations are relations between employers and employee in course of running
industries, businesses, companies, and projects of various natures on areas from
production of goods and services to quality assurances, marketing, profit sharing, and
pricing – including wage determination.
Failures to maintain better Industrial Relations mean conflict eruptions in industries.
According to Olakitan, “Usually conflict result in wasteful use of human and material
resources leading to low productivity, retrenchment, dismissal, and alienation”.
It is also manifested in the form of unrest, work stoppage (strikes), sabotage, absenteeism,
lock out, and so on. The most common of the manifestation of conflict is Strike. (16)
According to Arpita Nepal, Koshish Acharya and Shreeya Neupane (17) there are some key
constraints in resolving industrial conflicts in Nepal that includes political issues taking
precedence over workers‟ issue and limited dialogue between employers and employee. Interunion rivalry, difficulty in establishing an official trade union for collective bargaining, weak
implementation structures, weak labor institutions and illegal, wild cat and unofficial strikes
Nepal, Acharya and Neupane giving reference to some official sources have presented some
statistics about the number of disputes and trade union representation that gives general
idea about the nature and characteristics of industrial relations in Nepal: (19)
Out of 219 industries in the country, 31.5% had no trade unions, 37% had one trade
union, and 31.5% had 2-5 trade unions
Trade union members constitute 8% of the labor force (2012)
There were only 33 industrial dispute cases in the year 2007, which increased to 86
cases in 2008 and decreased to 53 cases in 2009.
In 2009, 11.4% cases were resolved through mediation with the help of labor offices
while most of the other cases were resolved internally with the involvement of
management and trade union representatives
In 2009, wage increment and payment of allowance (46.2%) was the main reason for
industrial dispute while permanent status (14.3%) was the second most contentious
As of 2008, 96.2% of people employed (over the age of 15) were part of the informal
In a survey of 219 industries, only 16.4% were found engaged in collective bargaining.
In addition, in 2012, there were 104 newly registered enterprise level trade unions; 323
existing trade unions renewed their registration.
If we evaluate the industrial disputes and industrial actions taking place in Nepal, their
features can be sketched from, some of the examples as given below:
1. While employers in many cases seek ways to exploit the weak points in worker‟s related
laws of the country, trade unions beside putting their demands lawfully before the employees
and organize lawful strikes – to fulfill their demands, they resort to unlawful means.
2. The insurgency that broke the collective bargaining process –gaining momentum earlier,
has not been regained. Under the pressure of political instability and political transition political parties have realized very tough crisis in values creation and values adoption. That
has affected the trade unions affiliated to them and the constructive process of industrial
3. Labor movement in most cases are found politically motivated and employers too, feel easy
to find a political solution of the industrial disputes, rather than following the right track of
industrial relations – tending to break industrial peace and productivity any time.
4. When trade unions fight for their supremacy, a collective bargaining process following –the
right track under the legitimate Collective Bargaining Agency, ultimately suffers and worker‟s
genuine agendas go unaddressed.
5. Immediately after, major political parties and trade unions avowed their commitments
against BANDHA – the forced shut down of industrial activities in August 2013, more than a
dozen industries in the Bara-Parsa industrial corridor remained closed for more than two
weeks with demand to increase in the workers‟ remuneration.
One example that a research report claims, exhibits general health of Nepal‟s economy - “out
of 365 days in 2009 only 65 days were free from such kind of disturbances. Additional to this
in 145 industries labor disputes were observed in 2009. In analyzing the factor of export,
import and labor productivity there would be approximately a loss of NRs 1.8 billion due to
one day bandha/hadtal. Instead of industrial growth with a skilled employment generation
there is a negative growth of employment generation and industrial activities.” (20)
The report has also stated that all-together in 2009 there were 822 different kind of
bandha/hadtal organized by different groups including major political parties including 142 of
them of the major kinds. (21)
But Success are Larger than Failures
Take two examples that read the moods of the better industrial relations in Nepal:
First, in August 15, 2013, President of the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce
and Industry (FNCCI) Suraj Vaidya claimed, “industrial relations were improving as we had
witnessed significant decline in the number of shutdowns, strikes, and acts of vandalism in
the past two years. Recently, we were also able to revise minimum wage in a relatively short
period of time, which shows better coordination between employees and employers.” (22)
In early this year The Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry ( FNCCI ) has
declared its plans to revive the Industrial Relation Forum (IRF) that had remained dysfunctional for
seven years and bring employers and trade union leaders under the same roof to discuss their issues.
FNCCI had also claimed that three major trade unions have also agreed the concept paper it had
developed and widely discussed among trade unions and employers.
Trade unions are vigorously active in unionization of several sectors undermined earlier.
Workers have become more assertive for their rights but are also more concerned on the
overall health of the companies they are employed with. In public forum, they seem more
accountable to the quality of goods and service they produce and are expected to deliver.
The second, when Education International was established in 1993, it encouraged the divided
teachers‟ movements under the leadership of Nepal Teachers‟ Association (NTA) and Nepal
National Teachers‟ Association (NNTA) work together for the cause of teachers and education
as a whole and initiated joint activity since 1995 similar to Joint Trade Union Coordination
Center – Nepal after ITUC was founded in 2006.
In 1999, both NTA and NNTA decided to form a single union and made a demand with
Government of Nepal to make such provision in the Educational Act of the country. That
followed the amendment of the existing educational enactments in 2002 that admitted “There will be a teachers' union in Nepal to work for the rights and interest of teachers in
public schools.” Earlier to this teachers' union were registered as a social organization under
National Guidance Act.
After this, all the five teacher unions in Nepal established by that time sat together to make
constitution for their common union and in Jan. 16, 2004 the Teacher Union of Nepal (TUN) as
per the provision of educational act of the country was established.
Even a Social Dialogue Committee with representations from Ministry of Education and
Teachers‟ Union of Nepal was constituted in 2005 with mandates to work jointly on their
common agendas.(23) The social dialogue committee worked wonderfully, many of the
teachers‟ concerns and demands were addressed through this body and even a seniormost
MOES officials did not hesitate to work in a committee or a delegation led by TUN leaders in
However, the political development since then and emergence of new political parties in the
country and teachers‟ bodies affiliated to them have created some political complications
and the ultimate goal of forming an independent and unified teachers union in the country is
yet to get realized.
Similarly, Nepal‟s all major trade unions rising from deep distrust and rivalry have initiated a
new trade union culture of working together and addressing major challenges they as trade
union bodies were coping with.
Nepal Trade Union Congress (NTUC) and General Federation of Nepalese Trade Unions
(GeFoNT) were working together in addressing workers issues since 2003 through a joint
mechanism and as mentioned earlier, after ITUC was founded, it motivated ITUC affiliates in
the country to form a common mechanism in working together and ultimately establish a
single national trade union center. As a result of this in 2007, ten national trade unions in
Nepal formed a Joint Trade Union Coordination Centre ( JTUCC).
Earlier to this in December 2006, the four major national trade unions signed a 10-point
declaration committing them to follow democratic means to secure sound industrial relations
on all levels and promote social dialogue and to cooperate among themselves in a
constructive manner using social dialogue to achieve their goals. (24)
Three months later in March 2007 NTUC and GeFoNT signed a Memorandum of Understanding
for single union formation.
Trade Unions in Nepal have asserted their roles as are stronger forces of socio-political
transformation and they have smooth access to political leadership of the country. Nepal‟s
trade union leaderships have always worked in tandem with employers‟ bodies and they seem
together with policy makers and making advocacy for the same cause. Employers seem
agreeing with major trade unions on workers cause but they suspect whether the trade unions
are able to stand with the agreements with some smaller trade unions oppose them. (25)
Earlier on October 1, 2011, three major trade unions - Nepal Trade Union Congress (NTUC),
General Federation of Nepalese Trade Unions (GeFoNT) and All Nepal Trade Union Federation
(ANTUF), at a meeting of the Central Labor Advisory Committee under the chairmanship of
Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai reached on a landmark agreement.
The meeting had representations from the Labor Ministry, the Federation of Nepalese
Chamber of Commerce and Industries (FNCCI) and Confederation of Nepalese Industries (CNI)that explicitly mentioned that trade unions agreed 'no work no pay‟, „no strikes for next 4
years‟ and employers‟ right to „hire and fire‟ workers if there remains a genuine cause.
As per the agreement, the private sector businesses and industries would guarantee minimum
social security to the workers and fix the minimum monthly salary of workers at Rs 6200
while those working on daily wages will get Rs 231 per day.
"We also decided to establish 10 Labor Relations Reform Committees at the district level to
make sure that industrial disputes draw timely attention of the authority and actions are
taken promptly to resolve the problems.
As for the social security package, the government is supposed to implement it by a Social
Security Act and through other necessary provisions.
Agriculture that according to the Department of Agriculture provides employment
opportunities to 66 percent of the total population and contributes about 39 percent in the
GDP with 13 percent of the total foreign trade of the country (26) has few formal employment
opportunities. Because of this 4 hundred thousand labor-force that adds up each year in
market has shown heavy migration trends –from rural to urban areas and then to overseas
especially in Gulf countries. The jobs they are offered there are often reported to be
dangerous and they suffer severe exploitation and harassment. It has created two major
challenges to economy as a whole – one, the country is starving with youth population to run
its rural economy heavily dominated by agriculture and skilled labor supply for a thriving
construction sectors that offers tremendous opportunities. In both rural and urban areas,
there is a huge dearth of labor supply in plumbing, electrification, brick, and wood works.
Worker’s Power: the Power of the Economy in a Digitalized World
The greatest achievement of modern age is that there is no monopoly of any individual,
ethnic group, or nation over knowledge, science and technology and this is the single
greatest contributing factor of prosperity for all. The massive wealth collected by many
countries in the world is the result immense knowledge reserve and their knack over
modern science technology.
Globalization has been reshaped by Digitalization. Nearly after three hundred years of
industrial revolution, we have now information revolution that was initiated by the last
decade of 20th Century.
In today’s interconnected and highly competitive global market, only quality goods and
services produced in efficient, reliable, cost-effective way with smooth supply chains allow
a country achieve growth and development. These days the success story of China and
India tells it in an explicit way. Some years ago, it the case with South Korea and earlier to
Developing countries like Nepal coincidentally have been facing two challenges at the same
time. First, they have very few quality products to exports and second they have to bear
with several trade logistics barrier.
Workers education, workers training and workers motivation, morale and satisfaction plays a key role in enhancing quality of goods and services.
When a worker has good education, training, motivation, morale, and satisfaction, it
creates a sense of honor and confidence in him that ultimately will help realize his/her
power – that in many ways has helped nation and its economy grow faster and go rich.
Equally important for a developing countries like us is to build a good infrastructural bases
– good transport, communication , banking and financial facility, no oil shortages, continued
electricity supply for 24 hours and strong legal security and compensation packages
available to investments – for national and foreign.
Similar is the case with dismantling
cross-border trade impediments compatible to free trade regime.
Every people of every ethnicity or region have some competitive edge. However, in a
modern economy only the highest level of quality education and training, quality tools and
quality environment available for workers and working age population gives a country that
“competitive edge”. That in real terms gives power to a worker that fuels the industry and
business house he/she works and that ultimately is translated into national economy.
Nothing is precious than workers’ power to empower an economy.
Indubitably, government has a central role to play in building workers’ power - in financing
and sharing for workers’ education and training,
workers and all working age populations.
basic social security for
In truer terms investment on education /training and social security is investment for
wealth creation and economy promotion.
Nancy Birdsall in an article (27) had raised a very pertinent issue that unlike in the past there
will not be large protest at the upcoming meetings of the IMF, World Bank and WTO. She said
that she has not made this observation because these bodies have become more effective and
legitimate when compared one decade ago, but because they are seen as too small and
impotent in the face of larger market forces to bother with.
Joseph S. Nye - former US assistant secretary of defense and chairman of the US National
Intelligence Council in another article (28) has used a word “ DATOCRACY” that incites fear
of an Orwellian “e-1984”. He says the rise of big data, with all potentials, has left many
important questions unanswered amid recent revelations about US National Security Agency
surveillance programs. Who owns, who controls, and who regulates the use of the data
controls the world and that after all, is not confined to governments and corporations;
anonymous criminal groups can easily abuse the information.
Similarly, when central governments are fundamentally weak, with markets – and the
enterprises that dominate them – providing almost all services, then both the national and
global governance become a most challenging job. It may seem acceptable to those within
the “gated communities” that benefit from it, but what about all those left outside? Nye asks.
Nye further elaborates his point that world is organized into some 200 countries but only 16
governmental entities account for two-thirds of the world‟s income and two-thirds of its
population. Few multinationals claim bigger share of global property than many countries.
However big and dominant role markets play, they can never produce and provide sufficient
amounts of public goods. Neither can we go away from the digital age. We have to assert our
survival with dignity – and there the most effective initiative remained opened for us is a
When we mean democracy it is two-way dialogue between governments and people and
making each other accountable, and by Social dialogue we mean partnerships between
government, employers, workers and other stakeholders or consumers community or their
coalitions in designing, implementing and monitoring relevant policies, strategies and
activities in all economic, social and labor spheres.
Social dialogue also includes efforts to improve governance – at the local, national, or
international level partnerships with workers bodies and other civil society groups – that will
play a balancing role between markets, states, and public and enhance their ability to
address the real need of the people that a just democratic society offers to all.
A weak state and failing industrial and business house cannot help the cause of the workers
and whereas a weak worker without power to make the state and employers accountable to
him cannot help the state and employer go rich. Better industrial relations under an effective
social dialogue process will indubitably help our cause.
We live in an online world its immensity is beyond our comprehension (29) When state,
society and economy are controlled by on line connectivity; the question remains how to
build workers capacity to cope with the challenges, protect their stakes, and manage it with
proper roles to government, business houses, and trade unions.
Hyper-connectivity will create enormous commercial opportunities, change the lives, works of
people may be without their knowledge, and again it may push millions of people excluded
Governments and trade unions have a most challenging job in helping its work force and
members to meet those challenges posed by people thousands of kilometers away, where
their agreements, rules and regulations do not work.
(1) Thomas L. Friedman: Longitudes and Attitudes -Exploring the World After September 11, Farrar
Straus Giraux, New York, 2012, page 3.
(2) Jagdish Bhagwati: In Defense of Globalization, Oxford, (2004) page 3.
(3) Joseph E. Stiglitz: Making Globalization Work, (Allen Lane, 2006) page-4.
(4) Thomas L. Friedman: The Lexus and the Olive Tree, Anchor Books, 2000, page XVI.
(5) ibid, page XVII.
(6) Commission on Growth and Development: The Growth Report – Strategies for Sustained Growth and
Development , The World Bank, 2008, p-2.
(7) Economic Impact of ‘People’s War’ in Nepal: A Study- Vivekananda International Foundation,
October 17, 2013.
(9) The Costs of War in Nepal, National Peace Campaign (NPC) January 2004, page-13.
(10) . . . . The Himalayan Times February 17, 2013
(12) Sabina Alkire and José Manuel Roche: How Multidimensional Poverty Went Down: Dynamics and
Comparisons - Oxford Poverty & Human Development Initiative (OPHI), Department of International
Development, March 2013, www.ophi.org.uk
(13) Jose Antonio Ocampo and Rob Vos (edited) Uneven Economic Development, Zed Books and
Third World Network in association with United Nations, 2008, page 1.
(14) Arun Monappa : Industrial Relations, Tata Mcgraw Hill Education Pvt. Ltd. New Delhi, 2009, p9.
(15) Olakitan Owoseni Omosolape : An Examination of Some determinants of Industrial Confict in
Employee-Employer Relationship, International Labour Organization, 2011.
(16) Olakitan page-6
(17) Industrial Relations – An Institutional Analysis, Samriddhi, the Prosperity Foundation, July - 2013
(18) Giving reference to Poole Olakitan ibid page 10 has given six commonest forms of strike:
1. WILDCAT STRIKE: This form of strike is in violation of contract and not authorized by the union because no
reason or notice is given to employer before embarking on it.
2. SIT-DOWN STRIKE: This is type of strike involve workers being present at work but literally not working.
3. CONSTITUTIONAL STRIKE: This refers to actions that conform to the due procedure of the collective
agreement. The agreement usually specifies the time and the procedure for conducting a strike by the workers.
4. UNCONSTITUTIONAL STRIKES: This is a strike action that does not conform to the provisions of the collective
agreements or the relevant public policies.
5. UNOFFICIAL STRIKE: This type of strike is usually unauthorized by the union leadership. This happens because
the memberships have lost confidence in the leaders and are therefore willing to exert direct pressure on the
employer without the
authorization of leaders.
6. OFFICIAL STRIKE: These are strikes that are usually authorized by the leadership of the union.
(19) Arpita Nepal, Koshish Acharya and Shreeya Neupane : Industrial Relations – An Institutional
Analysis, Samriddhi, the Prosperity Foundation, July – 2013, page 3
(20) Industrial Relations and Enterprise Economic Survey Nepal-2010, FNCCI, Nepal page-10
(21) FNCCI ibid
(22) The Himalayan Times (August 15, 2013.
(23) Report on Stakeholders’ Conferences on Educational Development Ministry of Education and
Sports (MOES) – Teachers’ Union of Nepal (TUN) Social Dialogue Coordination Committee (2007)
(24) Nepal – Labour Market Profile 2013, Ulandesskretariatet – LO/ FTF Council .
(25) Trade unions to start collective bargaining - The Himalayan Times, July 8, 2013.
(26) (www.doanepal.gov.np,accessed December 12, 2013),
(27) In Defense of World Government, Project Syndicate , October 8,2013
(28) Governance in the Information Age, Project Syndicate, December 5, 2013. (29) Rod Beckstrom,
(29) Rod Beckstrom: The Rights of Digital Man, Project Syndicate December 12,2013 .
(30) Rod Beckstrom, ibid.
Keshav Prasad Bhattarai
Former President: Nepal Teachers‟ Association,
Teachers‟ Union of Nepal and
Former General Secretary SAARC Teachers‟ Federation