KATHMANDU, Oct 7: Trekking Agencies´ Association of Nepal (TAAN) and three trade unions of tourism workers have agreed to raise daily wage of trekking staff by Rs 200 effective from January, 2013.
The two sides signed an agreement to this effect on Friday.
They have also agreed to set up Trekking Workers Welfare Fund of Rs 10 million. TAAN will transfer Rs 5 million to the fund within this week. As per the agreement, TAAN and union leaders will request the government and the Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) to deposit an additional Rs 5 million from Trekkers´ Information Management System (TIMS) Joint Fund to the welfare fund.
After the increment, porters and guides for Everest region will pocket Rs 1,000 and Rs 1,200 a day respectively. Likewise, the daily wage of porters and guides for Annapurna and Langtang region will increase to Rs 900 and Rs 1,100 respectively.
All Nepal Tourism Workers´ Union (ANTWU), Nepal Travel, Rafting, Workers Union (UNITRAV) and Nepal Tourism Workers´ Union (NTWU) had been pressing the TAAN management to raise the wage with effect from October 1.
TAAN and the workers´ unions have also agreed to recommend the Insurance Board to raise accident insurance amount and medical insurance amount for trekking workers to Rs 800,000 and Rs 400,000 respectively.
Mahendra Singh Thapa, president of TAAN, said they could not reach to a conclusion on annual contribution to the welfare fund. “The unions have demanded that 40 percent of annual TIMS collection be deposited to the fund. We will decide on the issue after holding our executive meeting within this month,” he said.
TAAN and workers´ unions have agreed to propose the tourism ministry and NTB to spend amount collected in TIMS joint fund for overall development of mountain areas and for development of tourism infrastructure like health posts for the benefits of trekkers and trekking workers.
Thapa also said the association and the union have also agreed to recommend Nepal Academy of Tourism and Hotel Management (NATHM) to provide free trekking guide training to 10 trekking workers.
Last week, the workers had padlocked TAAN offices at Kathmandu and Pokhara to press trekking entrepreneurs to fulfill their demands.