Myanmar govt. proposes daily minimum wage of 3,600 kyats; factories call for lower pay, unions & workers protest - includes statements by intl. brands
On 29 June 2015, the government of Myanmar announced a minimum wage of 3,600 kyats (about 3 US$) per day following a year of consultations between unions, government and employers. Both unions -including the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) - and employers have criticised the proposal. Local unions call for higher pay - 4,000 kyats- while employers say that the proposed minimum wage is unsustainable for business – they say they cannot afford more than 2,500 kyats per day. At least 90 Chinese and South Korean garment manufactures have threatened to close down their factories if the proposed minimum wage is set. We have asked five international brands with suppliers in Myanmar (adidas Group, Gap, H&M, Marks & Spencer and Primark) their position on minimum wage in Myanmar and whether the factories they are sourcing from are oppose to the proposed minimum wage. Adidas, Gap, H&M and Marks & Spencer have responded; Primark referred us to the statement by the Ethical Trade Initiative (ETI). On 15 July, ETI on behalf of its member companies (including Gap, H&M, Marks & Spencer and Primark) and the Fair Labour Association (FLA) and 17 of its affiliated companies (including adidas) sent a letter to the Myanmar government supporting international calls for the proposed minimum wage to apply to the garment sector.
On 1st September 2015 the minimum wage of 3,600 kyats per day come into effect.