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13 Mar 2021

Rebecca Ratcliffe, The Guardian

Myanmar: 1000 garment workers at GY Sen factory allegedly locked in to prevent participation in pro-democracy protest & 20 dismissed for missing shifts to take part

See all tags Allegations

“Primark supplier accused of locking workers in factory in Myanmar protests”, 13 March 2021

Workers employed by GY Sen, which supplies Primark, claimed to the Guardian that their supervisors had sought to prevent them from missing work to take part in protests in the main city Yangon on 18 February. Up to 1,000 workers were trapped inside…

According to workers, about 20 were subsequently fired for missing shifts to participate in the civil disobedience movement…

A spokesperson for GY Sen denied allegations that workers had been locked in or fired for protesting.

Primark said it launched an investigation into the factory on 5 March after a local labour organisation raised concerns…

Garment workers, mostly young women, have played a leading role in demonstrations opposing the military… Many are continuing to organise protests, despite the junta imposing a campaign of terror and intimidation against opponents.

… On top of the dangers posed by the military, workers’ groups say many employees have also been threatened with dismissal if they miss work to protest.

Workers at GY Sen said that, even before the coup, they were put under pressure to complete excessive workloads and threatened with dismissal if they refused extra shifts. Staff were paid as little as 1,200 kyat an hour (60p an hour) to work overtime…