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15 Dez 2021

Simon Glover, EcoTextile

Myanmar: ACT cease operations in Myanmar due to difficulties experienced by affiliated trade union under the military regime

"ACT puts a halt to operations in Myanmar", 15 December 2021

Members of the ACT initiative - which include leading brands such as H&M, Zara owner Inditex and Primark - have decided to put a halt on the organisation's actions in the troubled country of Myanmar.

The decision has been taken because of the difficulties experienced by local trade unions - who are also part of the organisation - in acting on behalf of workers in the country following the military coup.

"This is a consequence of the withdrawal of IndustriALL’s local trade union affiliate IWFM from the ACT operations, because they are no longer able to operate freely under the current circumstances," said an ACT statement.

ACT is an agreement between 20 global brands - including H&M, Inditex, Primark, Next, PVH, Tesco, Zalando, ASOS, Bestseller and C&A - and the IndustriALL global union in pursuit of adequate pay and conditions for workers in textile and garment supply chains.

However, Myanmar has been in a state of crisis since last February with more than 1,000 pro-democracy campaigners killed by the military since it seized power from the elected government in the coup.

"Myanmar has been an ACT priority country since 2018. In December 2021, members took the difficult decision to cease ACT’s operations in Myanmar," said the brief statement posted on the ACT website...

From March to October this year, ACT operated a fast-track dispute resolution mechanism on respect of workers’ rights in Myanmar. However, it now feels it is unable to continue with this work because of the situation in the country.

Last month, the IndustriALL global trade union called on brands and retailers doing business in Myanmar to take immediate action to cease their operations, divest, stop placing new orders and halt all business relations in the country.