Labour movements and the tourism industry: Do they have historical nexus in Post-conflict Nepal?
Post-conflict Nepal is politically and socially fragile, and retains the roots of conflicts emanating from its history. On the other hand, the lack of uniformity between the theory and the practice of regulation and organization of the trade union movements has sustained effects on the industrial relations in the tourism industry of Nepal. What is the interlinking nexus between these two factors? Earlier work by Paul Edwards (2003) presented a model to analyse the industrial relations by examining the interrelationships among employees’ representatives, employers, employees and the state. The engagement of the trade unions with the employees are related to the organization and mobilization of the employees’ demands; whereas, their involvement with the employers and the state are related to taking part in collective bargaining, and legislation making and lasting accommodations.
Based on Edwards’s framework, this paper examines the factors attributable to have shaped the trade union movements within the tourism industry in post conflict Nepal. Drawing largely from the published reports, journalistic articles, and a few research studies, it focuses on the examination of the interrelationship between the trade unions’ activities and the contemporary political, social, cultural and legal contexts since the early 1990s. The early findings indicate that the trade union movements in the tourism industry in post conflict Nepal has not only been influenced with the aim of securing political power, but also maintaining social harmony, including providing transitional justice and managing post-conflict emotions. Based on these early findings, the paper argues that the examination of the labour movements in the tourism industry in post conflict societies such as Nepal is inadequate with the existing industrial relations framework and suggests two additional factors for incorporations.
In the context, where several post-conflict societies consider tourism as one of the main economic activities, the study is expected to inform the consequences and the effects of the development of relationship between labour politics and tourism, and contribute to the scarce literature on industrial relations and tourism in post conflict societies.