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14 Nov 2023

Hsu Latt Phyu, Myanmar Labour News

Myanmar: Workers at Kamcaine Garment factory report multiple abuses

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"Workers forced to work overtime without being paid at the ZARA brand manufacturing factory, don’t get benefits either", 14 November 2023

Garment factory workers of Kamcaine MFG (Myanmar) Co,LTD which manufacture[s] ZARA clothing said that they are being forced to work overtime at night for free without overtime [pay] and labor rights are being violated.

The workers said that the Kamcaine MFG (Myanmar) Co., Ltd. factory was located at U Yay Paw Road, Hlaing Thar Yar Industrial Zone 2 and is owned by a Chinese national and operates with around 600 workers.

The worker said that the working hours are from 8:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., and they also have to work from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at night but [they are] not being paid overtime wages.

In addition, they said that they don’t get any benefits such as medical and causal leaves which are entitled in the labour law and if they misses a day due to any reason will be deducted daily wages of 5,600 MMK, attendance bonus of 20,000 MMK and a total of 25,600 MMK.

"The workers suffer here. Legal benefits are mandatorily according to the law, but we can't even get this," the worker said.

In addition, he said that the request for [targets] in the workplace [went] from 280 to 350 pieces of fabric for a [factory line]...If the requested [target] is not met, they have to refund the[ir] [wages] back to the employer, they said.

"The machine line that doesn't [meet] the daily [target] has to refund the money to the employer. Before, the super[visor]s had to pay it back, but now the workers have to pay it together. Some of them have to pay 80,000 MMK and some up to 100,000 MMK" explained the worker.

Due to these conditions, the workers are desperately trying to [meet] the [target] even without drinking water or going to the toilet, and the super[visor]s force them by screaming, slandering and intimidating to make the [target].

"We have to sew desperately without even drinking water...We suffer every day. The [management] will call the whole line if fabrics haven’t finished. As there is no other choice, so we have to endure it," said the worker.

The worker said that [workers are] also unfairly [paid] in clothing, day laborers are also hired and they are being discriminated against. 

The workers said that they would like to appeal to [the factory to] provide benefits if overtime is appointed, to... give [the correct] bonus [and] to pay for overtime, and not to be biased, not to ask for impossible [targets and not to cut money if the [targets] are not met and to make the toilets in the workplace healthy.