KATHMANDU, Aug 15: Devyani International Nepal on Tuesday announced indefinite closure of KFC, Pizza Hut and Cream Bell outlets in Kathmandu, citing labor woes.
Issuing a press statement, the company said it decided to close the outlets of global fast food chains after the workers manhandled Krishna Sharma, chief of HR Department, on Monday.
“As some staff members have been beating up their senior managers, threatening them to take their life and refusing to take instructions from the management, we are forced to shut down our services for an indefinite period under existing Labor Act,” Vishnu Reddy, country director of Devyani International Nepal, said in the statement.
However, Nawaraj Bhatta, president of ad-hoc committee of All Nepal Hotel and Restaurant Workers Union-Revolutionary (ANHRWU-R) refuted the charges.
“We are not involved in any activities like threatening and beating up senior managers as claimed by the management. We have not even placed any demands before the management,” Bhatta said, adding, “We have just decided to form a workers union.”
He also said the management unilaterally decided to close the outlets by issuing a notice.
According to Bhatta, a team of 66 staff members had applied for the registration of ANHRWU-R at the Labor Office on August 7. “We were at the Labor Office on Monday when Sharma tried to stop the registration process. But we did not manhandle him,” said Bhatta. He also said the members of the proposed union had proposed to the management to hold talks, but the management refused.
Meanwhile, a senior level managerial staff at KFC said the outlets will not be opened until the company fires all the staff that are currently working at KFC and hires new ones.
In the statement, Devyani International Nepal has said that workers will not be paid for the closure period. The company currently employs 180 people.
Devyani International Nepal operates Pizza Hut, KFC and Cream Bell outlets at Durbar Marg, and KFC and Pizza Hut Delivery (PHD) at Blue Bird Mall, Tripureshwar.