Friday, 13 December 2019

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Workers at Korean-owned factory in Rangoon stage protest over pay


Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – More than 300 workers at the Esquire shoe factory in Hlaing Tharyar Industrial Zone No. 3 in Rangoon stopped work and staged a protest on Tuesday, urging factory authorities to pay wages.

About 2,000 workers from three factories in the Hlaing Tharyar Industrial Zone in Rangoon went on strike for higher wages in February 2010, in this file photo. Photo: MizzimaThe factory owner failed to pay a regular money award to workers who were not absent from work for the past month, according to workers.

The Korean owner of the factory normally paid workers an extra 3,000 kyat (about US$ 3.50) for good work attendance each month. Starting at 8 a.m., the workers staged a six-hour protest outside the factory compound.

“Workers weren’t really absent from work. The employer closed the factory for a day because it didn’t have much work to do. The factory failed to pay the regular award money, and the workers protested,” said a worker.

After mediation by officials from the workers’ law analysis department in Hlaing Tharyar Township, the factory managers agreed to pay the extra award money, and the workers said they would return to work on Wednesday.
 
“They urged the factory to increase salaries,” a policeman at the Hlaing Tharyar Township Police Station told Mizzima.
 
Thirteen worker representatives had to sign a pledge at the Directorate of Workers that workers would not stage another protest in the future. Worker representatives said they considered that a threat to their human rights.
 
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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