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Burmese workers in Thailand demonstrate against low wages

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – More than 400 Burmese workers at the PTK shoe factory in Chedi Sam Ong in Kanchanaburi, Thailand, demonstrated for higher wages on Thursday.
Earlier, the workers demanded a wage increase of two baht per hour and factory authorities told them that they could increase just one baht per hour, so the workers launched a demonstration from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Chedi Sam Ong is adjacent to Three Pagoda Pass in Kyainseikgyi Township in Karen State in Burma.

After the demonstration, the workers left the factory. The factory will be closed until Saturday, sources said. In Chedi Sam Ong, there are five PTK shoe factories with more than 2,000 Burmese workers who labour 10 hours per day and earn seven baht per hour; one day’s wage is about US$ 2.15. If a worker has worked more than one year in the factories, the wage is eight baht per hour.

“Our wages are not enough to live on. That’s why we demanded better wages,” Ma Maw, a demonstrator, told Mizzima.
More than 5,000 Burmese workers are working in shoe factories, garment factories and other factories in Chedi Sam Ong. There are about 40 factories in the area.
A Thai-Burma Joint Boundary Committee will mediate between the workers and factory on Friday, according to workers. The joint committee was formed by authorities to address security and economic affairs issues on the Thai-Burmese border.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 07 July 2011 21:25 )  
The Kachin’s last stand
Since October this year, Burma has been in a state of civil war, with fighting between Burmese military and armed ethnic rebels. The ruling junta started a crackdown on these armed groups.

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