The trade union associated to ruling party CPN (Maoist) completely stopped the collection and printing of advertisements in the Himalayan Times (THT) and Annapurna Post (AP), two broadsheet dailies published from the capital on January 15, Thursday. The trade union warned Asia Pacific Communication Associates-Nepal (exclusive marketers of THT and AP) staff not to accept advertisements from advertisers, according to APCA-Nepal management. They also deleted ads from the computer which were ready for printing and warned the staff of dire consequences if they tried to print any ads in the next day’s edition.
The trade union has been disrupting work at APCA-Nepal, although the case of the legality of the union is sub-judice in the Supreme Court. The illegally trade union had forcefully stopped the billing and revenue collection of advertisements on January 13 and collection and publication of classified ads the next day. In a statement, APCA-Nepal management said that the union’s action was a complete mockery of the rule of law in the country. In mid-December, the union had occupied the APCA-Nepal’s reception. It seems to be a deliberate bid to shut the newspapers by blocking revenue, stated APCA-Nepal management.
The Advertisement Association of Nepal (AAN) expressed concern about the unlawful activities being carried out by the Maoist-affiliated trade union and appealed the Nepal government, political parties, professional organizations and all concerned to end the dispute to pave the way for working environment.
Freedom Forum strongly condemns the arbitrary act of trade union as its case on the legality and validity is under consideration in the Supreme Court. The Forum asks the concerned sides not to disrupt the works in the newspapers and go for legal remedy. It is the serious threat posed to media and people at large which violates freedom of expression and right to information.
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