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14 Sep 2022

Myanmar Labour News

Myanmar: Workers' Committee at alleged Primark supplier reportedly cooperating with factory to oppress workers

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"Collaborate with the WCC committee and the employer in the workplace to oppress the workers", 14 September 2022

According to the Labor Dispute Resolution Law, a WCC (Labor Coordination Committee) must be established in workplaces with 30 or more workers. The workers said that the law is supposed to facilitate between workers or labor organizations, but in practice, the employer is forming the WCC arbitrarily and oppressing the workers.

It is said that there are such incidents in the industrial zone businesses in Yangon Region, and the WCC...and the manager representing the employer are forcing the workers to work and are violating the rights of the workers in the workplace.

Yangon Region Hlaing Tharay Township Industrial Zone (2), More than 700 workers are working at the Myanmar Guotai Huasheng Glory Fashion Garment opened on U Ton Nyo Road. The workers who work at the factory said that WCC representatives and employers are oppressing the workers...

In the factory, the PRIMARK brand is sewn, and if the standards set unilaterally by the employer are not met during the workplace, the supervisors,...yell at the workers. He said that if he did not meet the standard, he would have to get an injection in his stomach.

The workers say that they are facing difficulties in taking the benefits of the labor law, such as casual leave and medical leave, and that there are talks to make it difficult for the workers who request to take the leave.

Since the election of the WCC in the workplace, the representative who received the most votes received only 50 votes, but the representatives who were not chosen by the majority of workers were recognized by the employer.

"WCC looks like it is chosen by the workers, but in fact, they are not allowed to choose the leader they like. The three chosen are those who are on the employer's side...," said a worker in the workplace.

"Now...the workers are being asked to sign signatures together with the WCC without any valid reason. In the signing process, WCC (3) employer representatives (3) including the manager, a total of (7) workers closed the door and didn't leave the room until the worker signed the signature...

In addition, there are overtime calls at the factory every Sunday and threats are made if they refuse.

"As soon as Line 12...workers are paid, they collect 5,000 kyats each for medical expenses. If they give out a bonus...once a week, how much money is left over for medical expenses, they don't pay the workers all of it, and if they actually want to take medicine, they don't have any medicine...," said a worker who did not want to be named.

As for the workers working in the factory, they should not yell and swear at the workplace. [They should not] force people to sign documents without valid reasons. Do not force overtime on Sundays without the consent of the workers. The workers said that they would like to demand that the WCC, which is organized unilaterally by the employer and does not represent the workers, is not recognized and does not collect unnecessary money from the workers.

[Translation via Google Translate]