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Uniting Food, Farm and Hotel Workers World-Wide

International Day of Union Action for Nepal: March 22

Posted to the IUF website 16-Mar-2005

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Update: Unions around the world responded to the call for action on March 22 by meeting with or contacting Nepalese diplomatic representatives to demand the restoration of democracy. In Brussels and Geneva, representatives of the ICFTU, WCL and Global Union Federations (including IUF) met with the Nepalese Ambassador to demand the release of all detained union leaders and members and the full restoration of democratic rights. In Geneva, the large delegation included members of the ILO Workers Group. In India, hundreds of union members gathered outside the Nepalese representation in New Delhi. National trade union centers in many countries wrote or hand-delivered messages to Nepalese diplomatic representatives demanding an end to emergency rule and restrictions on union activity. In London, the embassy refused to meet with representatives of the TUC.

Unions internationally are calling for a day of action on March 22 in solidarity with the trade union movement in Nepal. Democratic and trade union rights were suspended on February 1 following the seizure of executive power and the declaration of a state of emergency by King Gyanendra (click here for background).

At least eight of the several dozen trade union leaders arrested immediately after the royal coup d'�tat are known to be still in detention. Police raids have been carried out against union offices and materials have been seized, many trade union leaders are under police surveillance, union meetings may only be held in union offices, and all public sector unions were closed down ("temporarily", according to the Royal Decree) on February 7.

These ongoing and massive violations of rights require an international response and increased pressure on the government to return to democratic rule. The IUF and other international trade union organizations therefore support the call for an international day of action on March 22 issued by the Nepalese trade union center NTUC. Unions and their national centers can take action in a variety of ways to demand the restoration of democratic and trade union rights and the release of all trade unionists. Your union can show solidarity by

Click here to send a message to the king of Nepal, calling for the immediate restoration of democratic freedoms and the full exercise of trade union rights