Technology, FOSS and Unions

published on Nepal Telecommunication Authority Independent Workers Union´s Second SOUVENIR 2013

I like to start with the view of Walton Pantland “ICTs have the potential to profoundly transform unions and to permanently do away with their tendencies towards oligarchy, labourism, ideological conformism and narrow protectionism”. This means ICT is efficient tolls for spreading and strengthening the unionism. For this, first the unions should change themselves, their uncomfortable organizational structure and their unrealistic hierarchal organizing patterns. The horizontal organizing behavior of technology explores the new relationship and in touches between reps and members no more traditional like.  

The Pew Internet & American Life Project survey found that 36 percent of social networking site users say the sites are “very important” or “somewhat important” to them in keeping up with political news. It also found 25 percent of social network users surveyed said they became more active in a political issue after discussing it or reading posts about it, and 16 percent said they changed their views about an issue after discussing it or reading about it on the sites.

US President Barack Obama speaks during a “Twitter Town Hall” in 2011 in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC. Social networks such as Facebook and Twitter are playing a growing role in US politics by helping users stay informed and energizing activists.

In Nepal, PM Baburam Bhattarai was one of the most active politicians in social network and web, and it plays crucial role for him to become prime minister. Now again to spectacle the faith from citizens he started twitter.

What Union Activist should be aware is, acceptance of ICT doesn’t guarantee for automatic results in increased worker militancy and engagement. The passions, patience and persistence strategy by union activists is required, as well as much experimentation. But the big problem of union is, they see ICT as simple communication tools using for communicate with in unions, broadcasting union message to members and other public, what they need to learn a cyberspace is a space, where people work, organize politically, are entertained and educated, and engage in many fields of human endeavor.

There is something common between FOSS movement and union movement: representation of civic society. Open source Software are the result of combine efforts of people from world for world which resembles natural analog with labor movement. There is certainly an ideological congruence: Open Source proves that people can work together to build complicated and sophisticated products without bosses and mechanisms for workplace discipline. We know a Debian[Ubuntu/Mint] a computer operating system based on Linux. Debian’s development model is democratic, and the work of more than a 1,000 volunteers all over the world is coordinated through transparent and decentralized methods. The strongest thing about FOSS is they are free. Free as a freedom that means freedom to use, freedom to copy, freedom to change, freedom to redistribute. “In the long run, making programs free is a step toward the post-scarcity world, where nobody will have to work very hard just to make a living. People will be free to devote themselves to activities that are fun, such as programming, after spending the necessary ten hours a week on required tasks such as legislation, family counseling, robot repair, and asteroid prospecting.”. Then here comes question, why, then, do most trade unions still buy proprietary software when a supportive community of activists is able to provide free, Copyleft software that fulfills the same requirements?

At the very least, trade unions should seriously consider moving to FOSS as a matter of policy. It is worth pointing out that the developers of the Obama campaign understand the cultural implications of new technologies, and released all campaign materials under a General Public License, giving the public the complete freedom in contents and materials. This step reflects open society, what we union activist have been fighting for, so my suggestion is to use Open Source and let’s build Open Knowledgeable Society

Reference of [ and]


Internet Based eLearning : New Millennium Union Education

CLASS Nepal and NILJA had organized a one day seminar in Internet Based eLearning : New Millennium Union Education on 18th february 2013. The program was targeted to all the unions leader to aware about the need and adaptation of eLearning for union strengthen. The chairman of program Mr. Raja Ram Shrestha stated ICT should use in union for against the exploitation. Tilak Jang Khadka, general secretary of CLASS Nepal explain the whole idea of the initiation and also show the further plan. Chief Guest of program, Mr. Kapil Dev Shrestha Director General IT Department of Nepal Government appreciate the initiation of educating youth and trade unions. He said ICT is only powerful tools in world, which make individuals and country to distinct than others. He added trade union can get the opportunity to take education even in working time. So it help to save time and cost. But the important the content should be market driven. He said ICT is very dynamic which can easily cover all range of education level. He also said that labor education using ICT can help to minimize the discrimination among trade unions. He tried to convince participant from government side, he explain Nepal government is slowly giving priorities in ICT sectors, Specially the establishment of IT Department and IT Council under ministry of Science Technology and Environment shows positive initiation from government, Government is working in building egovernance system and it’s almost ready to lunch national portal and NID, Ministry of Education has prepared master plan for implementation of ICT in Education. He tried to showed all these things represent government concern in ICT. With these current situations, we feels it is very right moment to initiate e-learning in union education.

And finally my turns came, where I supposed to present on Technicality of Online Education and Its implementation, here is the summary that I presented there. ICT is an efficient tools for spreading and strengthening the union. eLearning is the term for all kind of (ICT)technology-enhanced learning,where technology is use to support of learning, where we can say ICT are computing and communications facilities and features that variously support teaching, learning and a range of activities in education which constitutes hardware (cpu, monitor, projectors) and software (text editors, database, browsers).The rapidly growing usage of technology in today’s world is pushing workers to consider the integration of ICT into the workspace. We can easily implement this by using common tolols like email, chat, blogs, forums, social media, collaborative writing, web conferencing etc.We think localization of these content will implement in first phase:

  • Basic Information and Communication Skills for Collective Bargaining
  • A Trade Union Guide to Economic Concepts For Collective Bargaining
  • A Trade Union Guide to Collecting and Using Wage Information
  • Building Women-friendly trade unions
  • Building Democratic Trade Unions
  • Climate Change and Transport Workers

To implement these things, we see lot of barriers that will come along our ways. Some of these are:

  • Organizational Barrier
  • Technological Availability Barrier
  • Content Resource Barrier
  • Computer Knowledge Barrier
  • Worker’s Interest Barrier

To minimize all these barriers, we are looking for 2 things should be considered

  • Personal Motivation
  • Organizational Environment

SWOT Analysis of eLearning in Nepal considering aspect from CLASS Nepal


  • Infrastructure
  • Willingness
  • Good network of unions and IT professionals


  • We are new
  • Not advance technology
  • Limitation of broadband connectivity/Electricity
  • Not availability of desirable content resource
  • Readiness of union


  • Open Source Software
  • International Relation : We might not need to build from scratch
  • As we have good connection with different union,s we can produce resources here
  • Attention of management
  • Union will be cyberunion or techunion.


  • Union Leaders may not agree to adopt
  • Financial problem
  • Find out the interested people.

You can download slide from


Social Dialogue in Telecom Sector: “Harmonizing Industrial Relation in the context of changing Business Model in ICTS Sector”

Social Dialogue in Telecom Sector

“Harmonizing Industrial Relation in the context of changing Business Model in ICTS Sector”

December 19-20, 2012

Venue: Hotel Himalaya

NTCWU, TEEN and UNICTS jointly organized the program to make social dialogue in telecom sector in Nepal.  Despite of cabinet meeting of government, chief guest of program Honorable Minister Raj Kishore Yadhav, Ministry of Information and Communication was came for 10 minutes and put his words.

Suvash Bajracharya, CEO Smart Telecom talked about new trend of business environment for licensed companies.

Narayan Neupane, Vice President of CAN put the words behalf of CAN working for ICTS development in Nepal. He said CAN is looking for infrastructure development and content development. He added 64% of mobile user indicate the role of telecommunication in Nation.

Jyoti Bania, General Secretary of consumer’s forum strongly recommends creating the favorable environment for existing industries and operators. He added this kind of social dialogue should be directed toward the easy, better and quality services. He said healthy competitive culture should developed among telecom sector in Nation.

Per Henson, HR director of NCELL talked about the challenge of NCELL in terms of fast and better service in very lower price. He mentioned about the relationship between union and management in NCELL , he proud to have such relationship, he added to make a profit and make success in company, both management and union should understand the business. His understanding was, it takes time to change, and we shouldn’t rush.

Ananda Raj Khanal, director of NTA suggested unions to change their images, he said people are understanding unions are destructive so now it’s time to change the definition with the changing business model.

Amar Nath Singh, MD of NTC, share an experience in telecom history. In his views, Telecom has 3 phases. First before 47- time was ruled by dictatorship, worst time of telecom. Seond phase After 47- changing the behavior in management and union and third phase is current time, which is the major development period, he said NTC is doing government role and proud to be most Taxpayer of Nation. He also said now a day unions are matured.

After this, inauguration ceremony for Social Dialogue had over .

Meanwhile there were 3 papers presented in program, In first session Ananda Raj Khanak, Director of NTA presented on Changing Business Model in Telecommunication/ICTs , he explained why this topic is so important in this age, he showed the factors creating the alarm situation in telecom sectors. Session was moderated by Sushil Kumar Ojha Joint Secretary of MOIC. where other panalist were MadhuSudhan Karmacharya from NTC, Suvash Bajracharya from Smart Cell, Mahendra Yadhav from Trade Union and Shankar Lamichhane from UNI-NLC.

Another Paper was on “Ethical Business for Better Social Partner ship: Role of Employer” by Mr. Tomy Holopeain CFO of NCELL. He explained the business procedure and social responsibility that NCELL is doing. He showed how NCELL is making relation with Government, NTA to follow the policies and working with Employees and union for better business understanding . at a time Mr. Chakrapani Acharya from NTC representing TEAN presented on “Efficiency: Concern of Trade Union”. Session was moderated by Kebal bhandari, Director of DOL. Panelist were Binay Bohara from ISPAN, Prabin Shrestha from SmartCell, Anada Khanal from NTA, Jyoti Bania from Consumer’s Forum and Shyam Sundar from NTC.

The two days program concluded after making dialogue among Union Representation from Telecom and ICTS Sector. and Finally it formed a new Draft Preparation Committee for Better Ethical practice for Union, management. The comittee was formed in the coordination of Shankar Lamichhane, followed by Prakash Neupane, Indu Charya, Ale ji, Rewati ji and Shankar Katwal.