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South Korean factory fined K3 million for defying order

The South Korean-owned Macdo wig factory was fined three million kyat (US$2255) by Mingalardon township court for failing to obey a Central Arbitration Council order, its workers said.

“The factory will also be sued for closing the factory without permission. We have also reported them to the Labour Department,” Ma Soe Nwe Oo, the factory union chairwoman who was recently sacked, said on Tuesday.

She and union central committee member Ko Myo Thiha were fired by Macdo Co. Ltd without compensation in February for publicising on social media a labour dispute at the factory.

After several hearings conducted by labor dispute arbitration groups, the Yangon Regional Council and Central Arbitration Council ordered the factory to rehire the two union leaders they fired.

But the factory owner declined to obey the orders, prompting the Labour Administration Department to file charges against the firm in court.

Two other female workers also filed a criminal complaint at the township police station against a former Korean factory supervisor for alleged assaulting female workers on Saturday.

The union leaders said that about 1400 factory workers have not been allowed to enter the factory since Sunday.

“The factory was closed because they are afraid of a labour strike, but we have shelved our strike plan,” said Ko Myo Thiha.

On Tuesday morning, The Myanmar Times attempted to meet a factory official but the calls were not answered.

The Myanmar Times was also stopped from meeting with workers at the factory by Mingalardon Industrial Zone committee officials, who said journalists are not allowed to enter the industrial zone.

The Confederation of Trade Unions Myanmar (CTUM) earlier asked the government to impose harsher penalties and fines on employers who flout orders by the Central Arbitration Council.

According to current laws, employers who fail to obey the entral arbitration council’s order can be fined up to K1 million by the court.

According to CTUM, there are 460 workers, most of them union leaders and members, at 15 factories owned by foreign investors.

The Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry asked the government last year to abolish all prison penalties prescribed by the labour laws, saying these penalties are not in compliance with the standards of the International Labour Organisation and deter foreign investment.

Source : Myanmar Times

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