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Myanmar: Dismissed garment workers accuse factories of using COVID-19 as pretext for union-busting

"Zara's Billionaire Owner Was Praised For Helping In The Coronavirus Crisis. Workers In Myanmar Paid The Price.", 7 May 2020

... [M]ore than 500 workers at... two factories were laid off when they asked to be supplied with durable masks and for social distancing to be introduced to protect them from the coronavirus. One of the factories, Myan Mode, fired every single member of a workers’ union, along with a woman who had complained of being sexually harassed at the factory...

Inditex [said]... it was working with suppliers to ensure they were following official guidance to protect workers during the pandemic... [and] the dispute at Myan Mode had been at least partially resolved, with 29 sacked workers reinstated...

Another factory, Rui Ning, located in the same industrial complex as Myan Mode, had laid off 30% of its workers, most of whom were union members too...

Inditex said the dispute at Myan Mode with 29 workers had been resolved through dialogue, and that the factory had agreed to reinstate the protesting workers. The more than 500 workers who had accepted severance pay could possibly be able to return to the factory once it resumed work at full capacity...

The union worker said... more than 500 workers who were laid off still had no jobs, and the fact that they had accepted a paltry severance was being used against them. Myan Mode had failed to honor an agreement that it would not target the union and lay off workers during the pandemic... Myan Mode is still refusing to recognize the union officially, while it has hired hundreds of daily migrant workers who are not members of any union...

 

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