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Striking factory workers in Pegu win demands


Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – Sixty-five Burmese workers in the Cap 1 Hat Factory in Hinthakon War in Pegu who staged a strike against overly strict factory rules have ended a one-day strike following successful negotiations with the Korean owner.

The agreement included demoting two foremen and relaxing regulations with regard to talking during work hours and going to the toilet.

Thin Thin, who took part in the strike, told Mizzima, ‘We reached an agreement. The factory authorities demoted the two foremen that we disliked, and they were transferred to the Rangoon branch’.

The workers issued their concerns on Saturday and went on strike on Monday. On Tuesday, the township authorities and officials from the Ministry of Labour in Naypyitaw met with the factory owner to mediate between the two sides to reach an agreement.

The workers also asked the management to clearly state overtime working hours.

Workers had been restricted to use the toilet only during two periods, once in the morning and once in the evening. If they needed to go at other times, they would be fined 200 kyat per visit and if the workers could not pay the money immediately, their salary would be reduced by 500 kyat per visit (US$ 0.60).

In addition if a worker talked during work hours, their salary would be reduced, according to workers. The management also agreed to provide sufficient drinking water.

‘If we asked what colour of cotton should be used or went to the toilet during an off-period, our salary would be cut by 500 kyat. We could not accept this’, a factory worker told Mizzima.

Mizzima contacted the township workers’ affairs office and the Cap 1 Factory, but officials would not provide additional details.

Originally, 19 workers signed a petition against the factory, but later 40 more workers joined them.

National Democratic Force chairman Aung Myo Win helped the workers submit the petition to the Workers Office in Pegu.

Around 15 police officers came to the factory to observe the workers’ protest on Saturday and Sunday including the township administrative head Aung Swe Myint.

The factory employs more than 260 workers, mostly women, from Pegu and Thanakpin townships.


Last Updated ( Wednesday, 08 June 2011 17:49 )  

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