Myanmar textile workers on strike; labour conditions must improve

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Myanmar workers of the Panda Textiles factory complaints on their labour situation. In 2015, two garment workers died and four labor leaders were fired during a protest in which 600 laborers camped in front of the factory.

A resumed strike and renewed protests—which first started in 2013—were sparked by stalled negotiations between workers and owners at Panda Textiles. Hundreds of textile workers traveled into the city center to join Sunday’s protest, filling the streets with their motorbikes and listening to speeches at Manawyaman grounds. The textile workers were joined in solidarity by workers from factories in the Mandalay industrial zone. The two sides came close to signing a new labor contract in early January, but the factory ownership said it needed to take another look at planned incremental raises in workers’ salaries, overtime earnings, and annual leave. Factory owners also refused to re-hire four labor leaders fired for organizing protests and further negotiations were canceled at the last minute.

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