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12 Aug 2023

Nay Chi, Myanmar Labour News

Myanmar: Workers at Huabo Times garment factory report continued rights violations

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"Huabo Times Workers' rights are being violated at a garment factory in Huabo", 12 August 2023

...At the Huabo Time Garment Factory in Ward No. 13, Pathein City, the workers are not getting their legal rights, and the line supervisors are being physically abusive and verbally abusive.

The factory is owned by a Chinese national, and ZARA brand clothes are sewn in the factory, and the factory has about 1,000 workers.

The worker said that despite the cut in [wages for] social security payments, he did not receive a social security card or benefits.

"From the month I started working, I paid over 2,000 social security fees, even though I had been working for about 6 months, I still [do not] have a social security card.

They told me in the meetings that I would be fired if I missed a day. They only cut money from the workers and they don't want to give them legal rights," said an unnamed worker at the factory...

According to the social security law, [workers have] the right to free medical treatment at a social security clinic or a private clinic... The workers say that they can get a medical certificate, but the factory does not issue social security cards...

"If my sisters are sick at the factory, they don't give [us] leave. If I come to work without feeling sick, [and then] I ask for a gate pass, they don't give me a gate pass...If I don't [do overtime] for one day, I don't [get] OT for the rest of the days and I'm discriminated [against]..," said the worker regarding the violations...

Although [workers] are entitled to maternity leave, most of the factories, including Huabo Times, do not give permission and give a warning if they miss a day.

"As soon as one day is missed, the lines are changed and the daily allowance, clothing bonus, and day allowance are cut..." the employees said.

"The entrances to the factory are also [blocked] with cloth boxes, so walking is cramped. Female employees are forced to move machines, push trolleys, and carry bags of cloth. Inside the factory, the fans are not good...

The worker also said that workers are being yelled at in the workplace, asked to eat fast for 5 minutes out of 30 minutes of meal time, and if they don't [meet the targets]...there is discrimination among workers.

"...they are always shouting and cursing... I also see people hitting their backs and throwing clothes...," said a worker at the factory.

The workers [said that they] being treated harshly...and...in such a way that the physical condition of the workers was degraded...

He said that there is a labor union in the workplace and they cannot work on labor dispute issues.

"There is a union in the factory. Because the union is an employer's union, the sisters can't rely on it..." she added.