Workers shut down Asian Paints factory in Nepal
Apr 3, 2007 - 11:30:12 AM

Kathmandu, April 3 - Aggrieved workers demanding they be hired permanently have closed down the Asian Paints - factory in central Nepal. The multinational is the market leader in the paints business in the country.

About eight to 10 hands, hired to load and unload consignments, Monday lined up before the multinational's factory in Hetauda town, where many major companies have their manufacturing base, and prevented production staff from entering.

However, Asian Paints - authorities said none of the permanent employees or labour unions were behind the protest.

Asian Paints - began operations in 1983, quickly capturing the market. Currently, the Hetauda factory produces about 10 tonnes of paint a day. Closing the factory means a daily loss of Nepali Rs.1-1.5 million.

The company management said talks were on with the protesters and they were optimistic that the factory would resume operations Tuesday.

The trouble in the Asian Paints - factory comes after reports that another multinational, Colgate-Palmolive, was planning to relocate outside Nepal due to recurring shutdowns and labour unrest.

Last month, Aarti Strips, an Indian venture in Morang district in southern Nepal that is among one of the largest taxpayers in the country, decided to wind up its operations in Nepal due to the continuing turmoil and disruptions as well as the government's failure to offer attractive tax incentives.

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