The right to form or join a trade union
There is no particular ideological or prejudicial imposition on artists in Nepal.
Artists have their own professional organizations. Different groups have been formed by artists over the last 30 years. SKIB, YAG, are groups of painters who worked with the force of a union for many decades.
Art galleries run by art managers and artists themselves have carried out the activities that normally a union of artists would do. They have even opened art colleges. Musicians have also their groups. Classical and other music creators have their own unions.
NAFA is a semi-government organization that employs some artists. It is part of the Royal Nepal Academy.
Contemporary Arts Gallery is another well-known organization. There are several other galleries that function as organizations that bring artists together. The galleries and these organizations have some leverage on the government’s policies.
Trade union freedom
There is no pressure on artists who wish to form or join a trade union.
Trade unions address more political and other work-related concerns that are general.
Trade unions have been trying to obtain workers’ general welfare measures such as health insurance, provision of provident funds and entitlement to special bonus provisions, insurance and right to form unions, house rent facilities, etc. Current demands of trade unions concern political matters, salary increase and the curbing of the inflation rate.
Consultations of the Unions by the State
The Unions are not consulted by the State before it adopts reforms that affect the working practice of artists but government measures sometimes trigger strikes and clashes with the trade unions. In Nepal, first tensions then dialogues and solutions appear to have become a pattern of the relationship between the State and the Trade Unions.
Main activities of unions
No examples can be found of ancillary activities undertaken by trade unions such as music schools, theatres, production of recordings etc.
There are no special structures for negotiating collective agreement in the various artistic sectors.
There are no collective agreements ensuring a legal framework in the different sectors.
Promotion of social dialogue
Social dialogue has sometimes been facilitated by civil organizations that are outside the influence of the governments and political parties.
Source: Nepal Centre of the International Theatre Institute, December, 2004.