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28 Mar 2016

Action Labor Rights

Under Pressure: a report on labour conditions in Korean factories in Myanmar by Action Labor Rights

This report by Action Labor Rights (ALR) examines the labour conditions in a selection of garment factories in Myanmar which are either wholly Korean owned or joint-ventures with Korean companies. Most of the companies are in industrial zones in the Yangon region and Bago. It is based on qualitative and quantitative data gathered from 1200 employee interviews at 39 factory sites by a team of 10 field researchers in April-June 2015, as well as secondary data collected from other key informants, e.g. including managers and focus groups.

The survey compares conditions in factories to the requirements of the Myanmar legal framework. It reveals significant non-compliance on the part of many Korean factories, particularly with laws on working hours and overtime. In factories surveyed, excessive overtime appeared to be the major issue of concern, both from a legal compliance perspective, but also in terms of the key issue impacting on the health, well-being and safety of factory employees. Almost 30% of the factories surveyed failed to abide by the maximum 16 hours weekly overtime limit. Nearly two thirds of workers surveyed (62%) reported being unable to refuse working excessive hours. This is unsurprising given that almost two-third of workers (63%) said that their take home pay was not enough to live comfortably…