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Chinese Garment Factory Closes After Attack by Workers

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Chinese owned Hangzhou Hundred Tex garment factory in Yangon which was attacked by striking workers last week, has temporarily closed to carry out repairs on equipment and furniture that were damaged in the incident, factory officials said yesterday.

In an announcement, the management of the factory located in Shwe Lin Ban industrial zone of Hlaing Tharyar township, said the factory would resume operations after repairs were completed and an agreement was signed with the workers.

According to the announcement, the workers will be paid minimum wages for the duration of the the closure. However, there was no mention of when the factory will resume operations.

Factory manager Daw Hla Hla Htwe told The Myanmar Times yesterday that repair work has begun.

She also said the factory has lodged police reports against the workers involved in the attack.

“The workers have accepted the factory›s announcement because they will be given minimum daily wages for the period that they don’t have jobs” said Ma Win Theingi Soe, Yangon regional chair of Confederation of Trade Unions Myanmar, who is assisting the workers in their dispute.

On February 25, some 500 factory workers called off their weeks-long strike after the Yangon Region Arbitration Council ordered the factory to reinstate a workers union leader.

Factory workers started striking on January 30 when their union chair was fired by the factory officials for taking leave without approval.

The union leader, Ko Thet Paing Oo, told The Myanmar Times yesterday that he took about two weeks leave upon the recommendation of doctors from the hospital as he had contracted measles.

But he was fired by the factory for being absent from work without permission, he said.

“Factory officials were not happy with me because they had to compensate about K70 million to the workers when we demanded our rights according to the law. They fired me because they were not happy that I supported the strikers. They admitted as much,” said Ko Thet Paing Oo.

On February 23, the workers, angered by the sacking of their colleague, attacked the factory, breaking chairs and damaging equipment.

The Chinese embassy in Yangon issued a statement the same day, calling on the Myanmar government to protect Chinese businesses and property and to take action against the perpetrators of the attack.

The Yangon government then ordered the workers to move out of the factory by the following day.

 

Source: The Myanmar Times
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