abusesaffiliationarrow-downarrow-leftarrow-rightarrow-upattack-typeburgerchevron-downchevron-leftchevron-rightchevron-upClock iconclosedeletedevelopment-povertydiscriminationdollardownloademailenvironmentexternal-linkfacebookfiltergenderglobegroupshealthC4067174-3DD9-4B9E-AD64-284FDAAE6338@1xinformation-outlineinformationinstagraminvestment-trade-globalisationissueslabourlanguagesShapeCombined Shapeline, chart, up, arrow, graphLinkedInlocationmap-pinminusnewsorganisationotheroverviewpluspreviewArtboard 185profilerefreshIconnewssearchsecurityPathStock downStock steadyStock uptagticktooltiptwitteruniversalityweb

7 Jul 2023

Radio Free Asia

Myanmar: Garment workers & unionists at Inditex supplier face trial in military court after protests for pay rise

See all tags Allegations

"Myanmar garment workers to face military court after forming union", 7 July 2023

Seven Burmese garment workers and union activists will face trial on incitement charges in a military court for advocating for a pay raise at a factory that supplied Inditex, the owner of the Spanish retailer Zara, a labor activist said Friday.

The case has put a spotlight on the plight of workers in Myanmar’s troubled garment sector. Several companies have exited the country since the February 2021 military coup and subsequent deterioration in labor conditions.

Inditex is reportedly set to make a phased exit from the country after the arrests of the five garment workers and two union activists in June. They worked at a...factory operated by Hosheng Myanmar Garment Company Limited...They formed a union in April to bargain for better conditions. 

An activist affiliated with the union...told RFA that the seven accused are still being held at Hlawga police station in Shwepyithar Township.

On Friday, despite a scheduled hearing, the activist was told that the seven would remain in custody awaiting a trial for incitement. If convicted, they face up to two years in prison under section 505 (a) of Myanmar’s penal code. 

“Before setting up the trade union, the working conditions had many rules – no complaints, forced overtime, very low salary,” the activist said. “The factory doesn’t like the trade union, so that’s why the seven trade union members were dismissed.”

The activist said the trial of the seven will be held behind closed doors at a military court in Shwepyithar Township in Yangon. The township is under martial law...

... At Hosheng, soldiers were recorded telling workers there were no unions under military rule...