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ITGLWF Urges Nepalese King To Restore Democracy

ITGLWF Urges Nepalese King To Restore Democracy

In the wake of the state of emergency imposed in Nepal, the Global Union representing workers in textiles and clothing has called on King Gynnendra to restore democracy and open immediate dialogue with unions and other social partners.

In its letter, the International Textile, Garment and Leather Workers’ Federation expressed concern at the suppression of trade union rights, including a ban on meetings, and called on the King to take all necessary steps to ensure the personal safety of trade union leaders and members of the Nepal Trade Union Congress and General Federation of Nepalese Trade Unions, who are currently under threat of arrest.

ITGLWF General Secretary Neil Kearney has expressed concern that the deteriorating situation in the country is likely to worsen the already dramatic plight of the 50,000 women employed in the garment industry who are likely to lose their jobs following the elimination of quotas in textiles and clothing December 2004.

According to Mr. Kearney, the industry has continued to rely on low wages to secure a competitive edge in international markets, rather than taking measures to improve quality, competitiveness and labour conditions.

At the end of last year, the Garment Association of Nepal warned that unemployed garment workers would be either forced into prostitution or forced to migrate to India, too afraid to return to their villages in the countryside because of the guerilla conflict.

The International Textile, Garment and Leather Workers’ Federation is a global union federation bringing together 220 affiliated organisations in 110 countries with a combined membership of 10 million workers.

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