Myanmar: Unionists at Huabo Times garment factory allegedly face arrest & dismissals; incl. co. response
On 11 June 2021, a bomb exploded inside Huabo Times factory, and the factory reportedly provided names of union members to the local police station. Pwint Lin Aung from Union 2 was allegedly arrested on the same day, and of 1,700 workers in total, 20 trade union members and 15 other workers were interrogated by the police. After the bomb blast, guards patrolled the area, and female workers were body-searched and required to open their food boxes and eat in front of the guards.
Ko Naing Win Sam, who was president of Union 2 at Huabo Times, was reportedly fired without reason after the explosion. Even though the labour dispute tribunal and labour departments have since urged the factory to rehire him, the factory has not reinstated him.
In June 2022, Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited brands reportedly sourcing from Huabo Times to respond to the above allegations. Primark, BESTSELLER and Inditex responded and the responses are included below.