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Union-level tribunal rules in labour dispute

Rangoon (Mizzima) – The Union Industrial Tribunal has overruled a Rangon Region tribunal. The ruling sacked two union leaders in the ADK clothing factory strike in Mingalardon Township, Rangoon Region. Nine union workers had originally been fired by the empoyer.
Striking workers at the Sunny clothing factory in Rangoon. With Burma's new worker's law, people are now free to form unions and negotiate with companies over pay and labour rights. Photo: MizzimaIn June, a Rangoon-level tribunal ruled that nine workers who were involved in forming the workers’ union could be dismissed.

However, on July 19, the workers submitted an appeal to the Union-level tribunal.

The Union-level tribunal ruled that two workers, the  union chairman, Kyaw Min Htwe, and union executive, Myo Thaw, should be dismissed, and to give them compensation equal to a four-month salary and three-month salary, respectively.

Ye Naing Win, a member of the Union-level tribunal, said that the decision was based on testimony from both sides and a detailed investigation at the factory.

On June 10, nine workers from ADK clothing factory formed a worker’s union, and the next day, the employer sacked all nine workers.

After the striking workers and the employer could not reach a settlement, the case was filed at the Rangoon Region-level tribunal.

The final appeal decision was the first by the Union-level Industrial Tribunal since the new government took office.

One of the sacked leaders, Kyaw Min Htwe, said he was upset at being let go.

“But, I agree with the decision not to sack the remaining seven workers,” he said.

The Union-level tribunal comprises 15 representatives including workers representatives, employer representative and government officials.

The Labour Organization Law enacted in February 2012 says that an employer must recognize a worker-organized union. Employers must not dismiss workers for involvement in a union or in a labour strike. Any employer who violates the rule could be punished by a fine not exceeding 100,000 kyat or up to one year in prison.
Ross Wilson, the chief technical adviser with the International Labour Organization’s freedom of association project, said in a recent press conference that employers are not yet aware of their obligations under the new law.
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 01 August 2012 13:43 )  
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