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Myanmar shoe factory workers on strike for wage increase
Publication Date : 09-12-2013
Over 700 workers of Great Wall Shoe Factory in Shwe Lin Pan Industrial Zone went on strike on December 6, demanding increase in their wages and labour rights on.
The workers demanded to raise their hourly wages from current 120 kyats (US$0.12) to 150 kyats, overtime wages from 262 kyats to 300 kyats and the incentive payments for daily attendance from 7,000 kyats to 9,000 kyats.
They requested a total of 12 points, including the demand for an increase their salaries two times a year and to close the factory on public holidays.
"I have been working here for three years, but I don't know even how much the basic salary is. Regarding with our demanded points, we have already done the first-round discussion with the employer. They can agree on only three points. They don't say anything about wage increase. So, we will continue to go on strike tomorrow," said a factory worker Myo Zaw Oo.
According to the existing laws, if a dispute between an employer and employees is not resolved in five days, the case will be brought up to the township labour coordination office. If the two sides do not reach agreement at the township level, they can bring it up to the regional tribunal.
"Most of our factory workers come from rural areas. For me, I come to work from Htan Hnapin that is about 2 miles far. The factory doesn't provide any office buses. So, I have to come here by tractors. Because of these difficulties, we asked to increase transportation allowances from 400 kyats to 800 kyats," said Myo Zaw Oo. "Besides, foreigners are rude in the work place, and so we asked them to treat us decently. The employer agreed on this point."
There are over 900 workers in the shoe factory, and most of them are from Htan Tapin, War Tayar and Hlaing Thar Yar Township.