Friday, May 2, 2014

Workers in Kyauktada stage May Day protest over minimum wage

More than 500 factory workers in Kyauktada Township, Yangon Region staged a May Day protest calling for immediate changes to the minimum wage.

The protesters, who were given a permit for the demonstration, shouted slogans and carried banners which read, ‘to get a minimum wage of Ks 5600 for a day’s eight-hour work’, ‘nominating permanent workers as salary work’, and ‘unity of all workers’.

At the same time, the workers also called for amendment of the 2008 Constitution, including such as sections as  436, 59 (F), 261, 418, 6 (F), 17 (B), and 60 (B). 

The procession set off from Mahabandoola Park St and paraded along Mahabandoola St, Pansodan St, Merchant St, and in the vicinity of Sule Pagoda.

“The workers have lost their rights at every age,” said lawyer Oo Htay, of the Myanmar nationwide network of union workers. “In this democratic age of transparency, the workers are losing rights, too. We can’t say it is the age of transparency if the democratic government is unable to fix the minimum wage for the sake of workers.

“What the workers in the entire country are now facing is low pay and the continual loss of rights specified by labour law. The government should fix the workers’ wages as soon as possible,” he said.

The protest was led by Myanmar’s nationwide network of union workers and joined by some members from democracy activist groups.

“We are not only earning a poor salary, but also losing many other labour rights,” said protester Kyu Kyu Win, who works in a shoe factory.  “Although we have complained about this to the Ministry of Labour, they did not take any action to solve it. Even if we work days of overtime, we earn just US$ 83 a month,” he said.

Workers from factories have been holding strikes in front of their respective businesses till now to protest against low wages and the loss of labour rights.
Post a Comment