Our glorious organization, All Nepal Federation of Trade Unions (ANTUF) is committed for necessary coordination to implement “Lockdown” initiated since 11 Chaitra 2076 under Viral Disease Act 2020, Section 2 by Nepal Government for the prevention and control of the wide spread of Novel Corona Pandemic (COVID-19) across the globe. We appreciate Nepal Government for imposing the “Lockdown” which we believe is timely action taken looking into the global scenario and experience. However, we express our serious concern over the insufficient preparations and efforts taken by Nepal Government in this crucial period in regard to addressing the critical need of the workers and poor people whose daily life has been badly hit by this pandemic. In this context, we strongly demand with the government to take needful action and initiation for the quick rescue of the workers stuck or stranded across the country and abroad and also provide immediate relief package for the vulnerable workers in their difficult situation.
In the pretext of this global crisis, our organization deeply feels that there have been several lapses in Government efforts especially in managing this nation-wide crisis, optimum use of available resources, proper mobilization of designated team of experts to fight against COVID-19 and also addressing the critical needs of the workers as a responsible government. Further, we did not feel the presence of Nepal government in rescuing the workers who were stuck in different parts of the country in course of work or seen walking hundreds of kilometres to reach home from their work location to escape hunger and destitution. This clearly shows that Nepal Government has become less sensitive towards the critical problems facing the poor workers and vulnerable people across the nation. This situation brings serious attention of our organization and we therefore request the concerned Govt. entities to make necessary arrangements for helping stranded workers/people reach their home, allowing workers/people to come to home country that are stuck in Nepal-India Border, helping them in mandatory quarantine accompanied by immediate medical check-up, market management for the agricultural products (vegetables, milk, fruits, fish and meats) produced by local agriculture workers, holding talks to host countries through diplomatic channels to address the problems of overseas Nepali workers. We also want to draw serious attention of Nepal government to make necessary preparation to accommodate or address the post-lockdown situation of the returnee Nepali migrant workers.
Further, we appreciate the Govt. decision to continue the works related to infrastructure development and request the Government and local entities to take necessary measures to tackle COVID-19 and also provide immediate relief to the workers through registration at local level. Also we request the concerned entities (both government and private industries/factories) to ensure occupational health and safety for the workers. If measures mentioned above not taken, it might cause serious health issue like the one that took place in Bandra Station located in Maharastra of our neighbouring country, India. In the critical need of time and situation, our organization requests Nepal government to seriously consider the issues mentioned above and immediately take needful action to immediately implement them for the wellbeing of the entire workers across the nation.
Jagat Bahadur Simkhada