Low profile workers in Myanmar now freely express their sentiment and reactions since the recent law has given them the right to go on a strike if their demands such as a claim for higher salary and better working condition are not met.
Among the group who went on strike last week were three factories of garments in Yangon’s Hlaing Thar Yar Industrial Zone where hundreds of employees joined and participated in this assembly. They had been very vocal about their working conditions and silence was not a part of that scenario as compared when they had been silenced and suppress by the military junta.
All they requested is to increase their pay as workers and they are not at all afraid of being terminated in their job.
The newest reform of the Trade Unions Act was prepared and the International Labour Organisation (ILO) helped and coordinated with the President and the government of Myanmar, AFP report said
The new law allows and permit employees the right to form an assembly, hold strikes but employers are notified prior to their activities, with 30 members minimum they can already form a labor union.
Steve Marshall, the ILO’s liaison officer in Myanmar said that it’s a big step for better industrial settings and people greatly appreciate this highly acclaimed reform providing them their rights and responsibilities which will work for both the employee and the employer.
It’s normal to see business operations will be interrupted and everyone concerned has to take initial adjustment. One foreign diplomat regarded this new legislation as the best law ever implemented in Asia, news report from AFP said.
Although many were caught by surprise by this new law, most probably the implementation will be that efficiently imposed until such time that they have understood the aim of this.
With their meagre pay they are faced with problems and difficulties because of insufficient money to purchased goods whose prices are also rising. Their demand is to receive monthly salary at US$100 a month, overtime included.
According to Thingyan Moe, they have been bearing these sufferings and problems for a very long time now and this time is the right to express their own opinions on all work related concern. There are also other employers who give out their demands to continue work operation.
More and more labor strikes will be encouraged, said Ye Naing Win of the Committee for Establishing Independent Labour Unions. A number of 20 recorded strikes transpired this year.