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Statement on Worker Strike in Rangoon, Burma

22 February 2012

Democratic Party for a New Society (DPNS) fully supports the workers who have been striking for two weeks at Tai-Yi Shoe Factory in Hlaing-Thar-Yar industrial zone in Rangoon and who are courageously demanding basic labour rights, including better wages.

DPNS strongly denounces the employer’s reactions, such as forcing strikers out from their quarters, cutting water supplies to their quarters, threatening dismissal and sacking some workers instead of dealing with the workers’ demands through negotiation.

DPNS understands that the workers have to take industrial action due to excessive exploitation of their basic rights by the employer.  DPNS also views that their demands are legitimate and thus, the employer has a responsibility to meet those demands.  DPNS asks the Ministry of Labour and concerned authorities for an immediate and effective intervention to solve this case.

Other workers in Burma also experience similar exploitations of their basic rights as their fellows at Tai-Yi Shoe Factory.  The prime cause of such suffering of the workers is the non-existence of trade unions and institutions that can protect labour rights in the country.

Despite the government of President Thein Sein recently enacting the Labour Association Act, the reality is that without unions being able to registrar the workers have no protection to organise for their rights. In addition, lack of any legal provision for minimum wage and lack of enforcement on employers to abide the set-rule of eight working-hours a day allows employers to freely exploit the workers.

Therefore, DPNS urgently calls on the Burmese government to make whatever provisions are necessary to allow and facilitate the registration of trade unions. We also call for effective intervention in the current labour strike at Tai-Yi Shoe Factory in order to meet the legitimate demands of the workers.

Central Leading Committee

Democratic Party for a New Society (DPNS)

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