DECEMBER 30, 2008   Maoist unionists have mounted the flags of the All Nepal Communication, Printing and Publication Workers' Union in the office building of APCA Nepal at Anamnagar in the capital on Monday.Just a day after the government and Federation of Nepalese Journalists (FNJ)--the umbrella orgasniation of the Nepali scribes--signed a 10-point agreement on press freedom, the Maoist union, against which the case is pending with the Supreme Court, put up its flags in the building today.

Last week, the union had placed their union board at the reception of APCA Nepal—the marketeer of The Himalayan Times and Annapurna Post. APCA claimed that the unauthorized union workers had captured the office reception and put up the union signboard after manhandling and threatening the employees who had opposed their move that time.

Kantipur siege ends

A day after the Maoist-led government struck a 10-point deal with the Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ) expressing commitment to press freedom; Maoist unionists ended their five-day siege of Kantipur Publications' regional office in Biratnagar on Monday morning.

In a statement, president of the All Nepal Communication and Printing Publication Workers' Union in Biratnagar Ghanashyam Adhikari said the FNJ and the government had agreed to resolve all the outstanding problems between the management and the labour union within seven days. He threatened to resort to "similar acts again" if the union demands were not met within the deadline.

The unionists had forwarded an 11-point demand, asking the management to make all employees, who have served the office for 240 days, permanent. They had also demanded that workers be paid as per government-fixed salary scale.

The government had assured the FNJ on Sunday that the unionists would let the printing of The Kathmandu Post and Kantipur resume from Sunday evening, but the Kantipur office remained under the union control until Monday morning.

The regional editions of the newspapers have not come out for the last five days as the Maoists took control of the regional office. Kantipur management has said that their demands are illegal and violate the agreement the trade union reached with it last October  when the two sides agreed that no fresh demands would be put forth to the management for two years, adding that it respects the rights of the trade union to go for a collective bargain and resort to legal recourse if union members feel cheated.

(Source: The Kathmandu Post)

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