Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal (TAAN) and four unions of trekking workers have decided to raise daily wages of trekking porter by Rs 300 and guides/cooks by Rs 250 with effect from October 1, 2014.
Issuing a press statement, TAAN said the hike is based on the understanding that the previous executive committee of TAAN had reached with four worker unions – 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).
According to the statement, 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 have 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 leadership of TAAN 2nd vice president Kul Bahadur Gurung to look into issues related to trekking workers.
As per the agreement, 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.
Similarly, trekking companies will have to provide festive allowance of Rs 8,000 per person to guides, cooks and Sherpas once a year.
TAAN and workers unions have also decided to allow only the licensed guides to lead trekking groups from January 1, 2015 onwards. The decision means unlicensed guides wont’ be able to lead trekking groups from January 1.