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Media Release on Workers’ Strikes

By Workers and Farmers Solidarity League of Burma  •  February 11, 2010

No. 2/2010 (WFSLB)

The striking workers in  Hlaing-Thar-Yar industrial zone in Rangoon, Burma  returned to work on the evening of February 10th with a compromised wage increase after heavy security forces, including riot police trucks, fire-brigade trucks, Intelligence and USDA motorcycles surrounded the area and threatened the striking workers. Workers from the Opel factory were promised a 5 US$ (5000 kyat) monthly increase, while workers in the Taiyee factory were promised a 2 US$ (2000 kyat) a month increase.

Today, February 11, 2010, the workers from Myanmar Sunny Shoe Factory which is situated in industrial zone number 2 of Hlaing-Thar-Yar and the workers from Miss Style garment factory of industrial zone number 3 also  demanded an increase in their salaries.

The factory workers have received no assistance or support from the authorities in their demands for a living wage. The authorities have instead threatened the workers with violence. Until this evening, the areas around the factories are blocked by barbed wire, 50 motorbikes of the USDA members and riot police.  In addition, parked at the corner between Victoria Shopping Mall and Bogyoke Street which is on the side of  the industrial zones are  two police trucks, two fire brigade trucks, twenty riot trucks and three vans of officials.

”Today, workers are only demanding their daily survival needs since they cannot  support their daily meals with current incomes” said Ko Kan Gyi Maung of WFSLB. “We denounce Dr Maung Maung Lay,  secretary of UMFCCI who insulted all workers by suggesting taking collective action for their rights was a selfish act.  Meanwhile, the signs of a possible violent crackdown by the authorities are there for all to see: police trucks, riot trucks and security forces.  Is this the way they solve a dispute between workers and employers? It appears that the government is working hand in hand with the business people to suppress workers. Therefore, we strongly denounce and condemn the military government for these actions. Workers in Burma are denied their basic right to organize and form unions, without unions workers have no voice or negotiation power. For the safety and welfare of workers in Burma, for labour rights and for labour disputes to be settled peacefully with negotiations between unions, employers and the government, we demand that the right to form unions is re-instated”

Unite All Oppressed Workers!

Workers and Farmers Solidarity League of Burma (WFSLB)
Rangoon, Burma.

To contact : wfslb2009@gmail.com

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