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14 Jun 2022

Myanmar: Three killed & 17 arrested at footwear factory after workers & family members demand unpaid wages

On 15 March 2021, three people were reportedly killed and 17 arrested after workers gathered at the Xing Jia shoe factory in Hlaing Tharyar, Yangon, calling for their unpaid wages.

According to a report from Action Labor Rights (ALR), the workers, alongside family members, had come to the factory to ask for 15 days' wages as well as overtime pay. Not long after the workers had gathered, the military arrived and soldiers began shooting at the crowd, which led to local people coming together to support the workers. Four men were shot, three of whom died, and 17 people were arrested, including workers from the factory and their family members.

On 5 April, six of those who had been arrested outside Xing Jia, including workers, were sentenced to three years in prison.

Ina statement to openDemocracy, Justin Brands, which sourced goods from Xing Jia, said it did not confirm or deny anything in the ALR report, and stated it was conducting an independent investigation into the shootings, to be completed in mid-June 2021.

In October 2021, 5,000 political prisoners were released from Insein prison, including three workers from the Xing Jia factory.

In June 2022, Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited Justin Brands to respond. It did not.

Company Responses

Justin Brands

No Response