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24 Dec 2022

Myanmar Labour News

Myanmar: Garment workers report conditions in factory as 'a living hell', alleging mandatory overtime, underpaid wages & workers hired as day labourers

See all tags Allegations

“Honor Apparel's garment factory workers are working like a living hell because it is practiced like a modern-day slavery”, 24 December 2022

According to the workers working at the factory, Honor Apparel, which sews famous brands such as Sinsay, PIOMBO...OVS...ONLY, etc.

The…garment factory, which was opened at 3 Pulay Road, Yangon Shwepyitha Township Industrial Zone, is operating with about 1,000 workers. There is no union organization in the workplace.

Basic workers, such as those working in sewing positions, [are] set a [target] of 70 for one day. If you don't meet the standards, you…sign [a warning] . For 8 hours of work, they get 4,800 kyats as a daily wage. In [reality], they have to pay 7,200 kyats for 8 hours, said a worker at the factory who did not wish to be named.

Another important factor, workers say, is that they are not entitled to legal rights.

If you take one day off in a month, instead of 14,800 including wages and daily allowances, you are being forced to earn up to 7,200 kyats per day…Worse than that, if they take leave, they will be resentful and even fired, the workers said.

"The time to go to work is 7:30 in the morning, and I was asked to start sewing at 7:00 a.m. The 30-minute lunch break is only 10 minutes, and the remaining 20 minutes can be added to the working time. Workers who are afraid of losing their jobs don't even eat," said the worker.

"If there are a lot of orders at the factory, we can work overtime from 8:00 to 11:00 p.m., and there are people who are forced to work overnight or all-night. If you are close to home, you can return according to your schedule, and if you are far away, you can sleep at the factory, and you can go back to work at the usual time in the morning," added the unnamed worker.

Especially on Sunday, which is an official holiday, workers are told that they are forced to [work] overtime without taking a break.

If he responded, he said he would be fired.

"There are more than 200 day laborers in the workplace. If they have been working for more than 4 months, they…call them back, but they have issued cards that look like approved employees. Let's avoid them if they are inspected. They are actually day laborers," the worker continued.

He said that if there are pregnant women in the workplace, they must be treated equally with others and meet the standards.

Workers say that if there are incidents involving workers in the workplace, they don't even deal with the WCC, but only call the police and soldiers once and solve them, so the workers' safety is threatened…

[Translation via Google Translate]