July 15 , 2014
The Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal (TAAN) and representatives of four unions of trekking workers -- All Nepal Revolutionary Tourism Workers Union (ANRTWU); Union of Nepal Travel, Trekking, Rafting and Airlines Workers; Nepal Tourism Workers Association (NTWA); All Nepal Tourism Workers Union (ANTWU); and Nepal Tourism Workers Association (NTWA) – have decided to raise daily wages of trekking porter by Rs 300 and guides/cooks by Rs 250 with effect from October 1, 2014.
The hike is based on the understanding that the previous executive committee of TAAN had reached with the worker unions.
The two sides have also agreed to form Workers’ Welfare Fund under Social Security Scheme of the government and deposit Rs 15 million from the TIMS Fund after guidelines for the operationalization of the fund is finalized by the government. The two sides also decided to lobby with the government to prepare guidelines for operationalization of the fund within a month.
TAAN and worker unions have formed a taskforce under the 2nd vice president Kul Bahadur Gurung to look into issues related to trekking workers. The taskforce consists of TAAN executive members as well as representatives of different workers unions.
The taskforce has decided that every company should have to provide identification card to all their field staff. Similarly, the taskforce has decided that TAAN and worker unions will jointly lobby with the concerned agency to implement ‘no trekking without guide/porter’ system. Regarding hike in insurance cover for trekking workers, the taskforce decided to work in cooperation with insurance companies that agrees to provide maximum insurance cover.
It also decided to strictly implement the agreement signed between TAAN Pokhara and Sanctuary Tourism Entrepreneurs’ Committee in December last year.
The taskforce has decided that trekking companies will have to provide Rs 8,000 per person to guides, cooks and Sherpas as festival allowance once a year. Similarly, companies will have to provide pay and perks to their employees as per the minimum pay enforced by the government. Likewise, trekking companies will have to compulsorily send budget list of every groups with the guides.
The taskforce has decided to allow only the licensed guides to lead trekking groups from January 1, 2015 onwards. Similarly, the taskforce has decided that representatives of TAAN and all four trekking workers will visit all check posts before October 1 to inform trekking guides and porters about the hike in their daily wage.
Similarly, the taskforce has asked TAAN and tourism workers unions to take joint initiatives for requesting companies to provide appointment letters to cooks, Sherpas and guides who have worked for the company regularly since two years.