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Worker unions in Myanmar to campaign for factory closures, full wages in April

Worker unions are planning to lobby for the closing of factories for full wages in April, said Ma Moe Sandar Myint, acting head of the Federation of Garment Workers Myanmar (FGWM).

About 30 worker unions under the FGWM will participate in a slew of campaigns for this purpose.

As there are only two weeks’ worth of working days in April after taking Thingyan into account, closing the factories will reduce the number of people gathered within the same space and this will help prevent workers from contracting COVID-19.

“FGWM will demand the closure of factories and for full wages to be paid for April. We have planned three campaigns. We made this decision after meeting with 16 worker unions. We will make prior negotiations at all factories, make demands online and shout slogans on ferries. Around 30 factories will participate in this campaign,” she said.

“People around the country are trying to prevent this pandemic. What if the virus spreads in a factory? There are more than 1000 workers per factory,” said Ma Myo Aye from Solidarity Trade Union of Myanmar.

Currently, some companies have decided to close with full wages for April and some have arranged work from home or alternate day procedures. Others are paying half the wage for April.

On March 31, workers at the Yoma Central project gathered at the entrance of the construction site in downtown Yangon to demand paid leave during the Thingyan holiday.

The company will now give a day off with pay during the Thingyan holiday. Those working from April 1 to 9, before the Thingyan holiday, will be paid at double the rate and those who do not want to work during these days will be given leave along with half the salary.

After the Thingyan holiday, those who will work from April 20 to 30 will be paid double and those who will take leave will be given half salary. – Translated

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Source: Myanmar Times

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