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31 Aug 2020

Michael Sainato, Shadow Proof

Myanmar: Factory supplying global sporting brands accused of union-busting as 200 unionised workers dismissed & replaced

“Workers at factories for sporting goods companies says management fired them to get rid of union”, 31 August 2020

Around 200 unionized workers who make sports equipment for Wilson Sporting Goods, Mizuno, and CCM Hockey at a factory in Yangon, Myanmar, were fired at the end of June 2020 after orders from companies stopped due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Workers say management shut down the VIP 1 factory while non-union workers were transferred to other nearby factories.

“… management collected a list of workers who were union members. Seven days later, the employer recruited the non-union workers and transferred them to other factories,” Hla Yee San, a union member who worked at the factory for almost five years, told Shadowproof.

San claimed management at the VIP 1 factory discriminated against and punished workers, who belonged to the union before the pandemic…

San also said the factory management created a “yellow” union in 2019 to try to undermine the workers’ union and had CCTV cameras installed to monitor union leaders inside the factory.

Bo Bo Nyein, the union president at the VIP 2 factory in Yangon, Myanmar, said he was recently fired after demanding the factory implement and follow protections for workers from the coronavirus.

… Mizuno Corporate Headquarters … did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

CCM Hockey declined to comment, denying they source products from Myanmar. However, workers provided photos of CCM Hockey sticks they made at the factory prior to the shutdown, which CCM claimed were samples and not from production.

Wilson Sporting Goods and VIP Factory did not respond to multiple requests for comment.