Burma: New law giving workers right to form unions & stage strikes comes into effect

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Article
13 March 2012

New Labor Law Will Prevent Worker Disputes: ILO

Author: Joseph Allchin, The Irrawaddy [Burma]

A new labor organization law that gives Burmese workers the right to free association, create trade unions and strike will help minimize industrial action, claims the...ILO...Steve Marshall, Rangoon liaison officer for the ILO...[said] that the law would hopefully prevent strikes and labor disputes. The legislation...gives Burmese workers the right to walk out for the first time since 1962. “It is a concept which is about social dialogue, creation of relationships between employees and employers,” said Marshall. “It is not purely about strikes, which should be the last tool in their relationships—an action of last resort.”...Last month workers at Chinese-owned Tai Yi slipper factory...went on strike over pay, eventually accepting an arbitration court decision that saw workers gain a minimum wage...Marshall said the ruling “creates a completely new environment for all parties, from employers to the government and workers.” [refers also to Tai Yi slipper factory, Hlaing Tharyar Industrial Zone]

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Article
10 March 2012

Myanmar law allowing strikes takes effect

Author: Associated Press

A new law in Myanmar giving workers the right to form unions and stage strikes has come into effect…The law allows workers to form unions with a minimum of 30 members and stage a strike if they give 14 days’ notice and provide details such as how long it will last, how many workers will take part and how it will be conducted. An employer who dismisses workers for going on strike or belonging to a union will face up to a year in jail and a fine of 100,000 kyat ($125), while workers who stage strikes against the law face up to a year in jail and a fine of 30,000 kyat ($38).

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