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25 Nov 2023

Hsu Latt Phyu, Myanmar Labour News

Myanmar: Garment workers at Cheung Hing factory report multiple labour rights abuses incl. wage theft & excessive production targets

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"CHEUNG HING MYANMAR Woolen factory workers are having a hard time because they are working with a tap cut system", 25 November 2023

At the CHEUNG HING MYANMAR (Chang Shue) woolen factory, which was opened on Ngmoeyew Road in Shwe Pytha Township, Wahtar Industrial Zone, the workers said that they are having a hard time because the workers are being forced to work overtime due to the [new pay] system and excessive [targets], and the [factory is] not paying [workers'] wages [for] weekend [shifts].

"Right now, the factory is paying 7,000 [and] a bonus. [The workers] don't want that...They want...1,400 per hour for [overtime]...I don't get paid [if] I didn't sew enough clothes for [the] whole month. [L]ast month, the factory closed for 4 days. Because I missed 2 days, I only got 170,000 for the whole month. "The worker explained.

Like other factories, the workers said they want to receive 5,600 day wages and OT wages as per the law. The worker said that the daily rate of 7,000 per day began in June 2023, and the working hours of a day were from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. (before 11:00 a.m.) the worker said that he was working 14 hours a day.

"...If there are no orders, if we close every 2 days or 3 days, [and] we want to [be paid] the full wages for [those days]...," said a long-term worker who is a skilled worker.

He said that if he missed a day of work without receiving the benefits of the workers, he would be cut 7,000 per day and 15,000 per day, for a total of 22,000.

"Sometimes there are people who have to come back [to work] at 4:00 p.m. Sometimes there are people who work until 8:00 p.m. or 10:00 p.m. For workers, if they get overtime, they want overtime pay." said the garment worker.

The worker said that the Chinese-owned factory has more than 600 workers and sews brands such as NEXT...and CELIO. The worker also said that there is no labor union in the workplace.

The worker said that the day fee was set on a fixed basis, and that there were factory holidays and they were not paid for those days, so they wanted to be paid.

"They committed violations against the workers. Last month (October) we were closed for 4 days. [They] didn't pay the day allowance. Audit[ors] came to check and asked us to sign [a statement saying] that we [were] paid 70 percent [for] the 4 days...[They] didn't really pay," he said...

[Translation via Google Translate]