Dabur Nepal under lockout threat again

August 28th, 2008 - 3:55 pm ICT by IANS  

Kathmandu, Aug 28 (IANS) Indian ayurvedic medicine giant Dabur, whose Nepal subsidiary faced Maoists’ wrath for sponsoring the country’s biggest beauty pageant Miss Nepal, is now facing a lockout threat by labourers.Trade union leader Rajesh Thakur issued a press statement Wednesday at the Dabur Nepal factory in Rampur village in Bara district on the India-Nepal border, giving the company a 72-hour ultimatum.

The union is demanding a 10 percent bonus, failing which, it said, the factory would be shut down from Sunday.

It is also rejecting the profit figures made public by Dabur Nepal last week.

While company authorities put the profit figure for last fiscal at NRS 25.6 million, the union says it is not the actual figure and is demanding that the “real” profit be made public.

It also said that though it had placed the demands before the Indian company last week, they were not heeded.

Meanwhile, business sources said the Maoists had been sending warning letters to several organisations with direct or indirect Indian investment, asking them not to hire employees from India at a higher salary than Nepali employees.

The Himalayan Times daily, the newspaper with the largest number of Indian employees in India, had received the warning along with some five-star hotels.

In the past, when the Maoists were waging an armed war against the state, they had forced India’s Taj Group to end its association with Kathmandu’s five-star Hotel de l’Annapurna.

The new threats come even as Maoist supremo Prachanda took oath of office as prime minister this month and promised to usher in an economic revolution.

Prachanda also said that his government would encourage foreign investors.

Dabur Nepal is one of the largest tax-paying companies of the Himalayan republic as well as its biggest exporter.

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