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3 Nov 2022

Simon Glover, EcoTextile

Myanmar: Thirty-nine trade union leaders at adidas supplier reportedly dismissed after strikes over pay & working conditions

See all tags Allegations

"Adidas supplier 'sacked striking workers'", 3 November 2022

A Myanmar garment manufacturer which supplies sportswear giant Adidas has allegedly sacked 39 trade union members, who led a strike over pay and conditions, and called in the military.

About 2,000 workers reportedly went on strike at the Myanmar Pouchen factory in Yangon demanding a rise in their daily wage from 4,800 (US$2.30) to 8,000 (US$3.80) Myanmar kyat.

Adidas says it takes worker dismissals seriously and is in talks with the company. But a trade union leader said workers were now too intimidated to fight for their rights.

Trade unions claim that factory bosses called the military on the day the dispute began prompting the arrival of soldiers and police officers in four army vehicles.

“They warned us not to continue the protest the following day,” one woman, who was later fired, told Myanmar Now. “They threatened to arrest us if we protested outside the factory area, or if factory equipment was damaged during our protest.”...

She said the strike had now been called off at the factory, because of the heavy-handed response of the company. The sacked workers had filed a complaint with the authorities but faced a long delay before their case was heard...

"We also worry for the workers they will be arrested and put in prison as the industry zone is under martial law. Workers can be put into jail for no reason."

An Adidas spokesperson commented: "We take the case of worker dismissals very seriously and are committed to upholding our workplace standards in our supplier factories.

"We are in close exchange with our supplier on how we can reliably ensure compliance with the applicable rules regarding the exercise of freedom of association and their handling of workers’ wage demands."...