Trade unions neglected on climate change issues: ITUC-NAC

kathmandu, noember 27: The International Trade Union Confederation-Nepal Affiliated Council (ITUC-NAC) has expressed dissatisfaction, claiming that trade unions were neglected on climate change issues. ITUC-NAC, an umbrella organization consisting of three of the largest trade unions in Nepal – General Federation of Nepal Trade Unions (GEFONT), National Trade Union Confederation, and All Nepal Trade Union Federation (ANTUF) – organized a press conference yesterday in the capital to voice their concerns.

According to ITUC-NAC, the government did not include workers’ concerns in the issues to be raised at the UN Climate Change Conference – COP 28. The president of ITUC-NAC, Binod Shrestha, emphasized that the labor sector is significantly affected by climate change, and trade unions were not consulted before the country’s participation in the climate change conference.

Yogendra Kumar Kunwar, the President of Nepal Trade Union Congress, highlighted the need for a fair transformation in COP28, considering the substantial impact of climate change on tourism, agriculture, transport, and construction sectors.

ITUC-NAC urged measures to protect the lives of workers at risk due to the country’s climate policy. They emphasized the necessity of preparing a transitional plan and preventing workers from engaging in activities that contribute to environmental degradation. The organization also called on employers to avoid producing polluting products to safeguard their long-term investments. Additionally, ITUC-NAC urged the state to ensure workers’ representation in the transformation plan.