ICSFDC News Alerts

Myanmar: Fishery workers hung out to dry after reporting alleged corruption November 25,2019   |  Source: Frontier Myanmar

Labour disputes are common, and often volatile, in Yangon, thanks to burgeoning manufacturing and trading sectors, personnel-heavy government and company offices, and the inconsistent application of labour laws. A steady stream of rural to urban migration feeds a labour pool that is beyond the government’s ability to track, and the overburdening or bypassing of arbitration mechanisms prompts workers to take militant approaches.

Direct action by workers can invite violent crackdowns, but it can also produce wins. One recent example is the sit-in protest outside the Yangon Region government compound staged by more than 200 workers from factories in Yangon’s Hlaing Tharyar Township. This ended on October 23, two days after it had started, when Yangon Region Chief Minister U Phyo Min Thein and regional Immigration and Human Resources Minister Daw Moe Moe Su Kyi met the workers and pledged to help resolve their disputes with their managers over the alleged violation of agreements on pay and unionisation.

However, another group of workers who protested outside the gates of the regional government at the same time got the cold shoulder from the chief minister. Numbering about 50, they were daily wage labourers handling freight at a fish market in Yangon’s Kyimyindaing

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Years in Support of Small Scale Fishworkers (1986 - 2018)