Burmese workers on Strike (2nd Update)

As I first posted the regional statement in solidarity with Burmese workers on strike yesterday, more materials have been found or ‘hit’ my mail box, thus to update as below.

http://www.cosatu.org.za/show.php?include=docs/pr/2010/pr0210.html&ID=2901&cat=COSATU%20Today

http://www.mizzima.com/news/inside-burma/3509-fear-of-strikes-leads-to-factories-declaring-holiday.html

http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/SEAsia/Story/STIStory_488928.html

http://www.irrawaddy.org/article.php?art_id=17781

http://www.greenleft.org.au/2010/826/42512

Continual updates on the strike situation can be found at

http://nomosthoughts.tumblr.com/post/384967583/urgent-support-workers-strike-now

Penseur21 –

——————-

Feb. 12, 2009

Solidarity Statement for the Struggle of Burma Working Class by ;

Working Peoples Association (Indonesia), Singapore Democratic Party, Socialist Party of Malaysia, Socialist Alternative (Australia), Confederation Congress of Indonesia Union Alliance, Socialist Workers (New Zealand), Socialist Alliance (Australia), Young Democrats (Singapore), Partido ng Manggangawa (Philippine), Congress of South African Trade Unions, Partido Lakas ng Masa (Philippine)


Workers at the Taiyi shoe factory and Opal 2 garment factory began a strike on Monday, 8 February 2010. They are demanding an increase in salary of 10.000 Kyat (US$ 10), a reduction of working hours and the provision of a clean space for meal. The strike started in the Mya Fashion garment factory in No. 3 Factory Zone of Rangoon’s Hlaing Thrayar Township.

Now they are being blocked by riot police trucks, at least 50 trucks packed with riot police carrying assault rifles and shields were dispatched. They are prevented from leaving the factory zone and no one has been allowed to enter. Police securing roads surrounding the Hlaingtharyar Industrial Zone, about 11 km outside the biggest city, Yangon.

Overall the working condition in Burma is worse. The Burmese military regime is pro foreign capital and depends on cheap wage and deplorable working condition to attract foreign investments. Like other democratic rights in Burma, the democratic rights of workers like freedom to form trade unions is also being repressed.

The rise of working class is a good sign for the possibility of fundamental changes in Burma. The rise of working class should be supported by all peoples’ movements in Burma and internationally. Seeing that we the undersigned organizations and political parties support the struggle of Burma’s working class and demand:

1.      The workers’ just demands must be fulfilled

2.      Reject any form of repression of workers

3.      Full democratic rights for the workers including the right to organize, build independent trade union and to form political parties.

We declare our fullest support to the People of Burma to build a democratic Burma. Because only with a democratic Burma prosperity and justice can be achieved.

If your organization want to sign this joint statement, please contact: international@prp-indonesia.org


Ign Mahendra K
Chairperson of International Department

Socialism, The True Liberation for Working People!
Socialism, The Solution for Global Crisis of Capitalism!
Unite, Build Working Class Party!

Perhimpunan Rakyat Pekerja
Working Peoples Association
工友联盟
Ассоциация Трудящихся
l’Association des ouvriers
काम पीपुल्स एसोसिएशन
تعمل رابطة الشعوب
Trabalho Associação dos Povos
作業人民協会
Asociación de Trabajadores

Jalan Kramat Sawah IV No 26 RT 04/ RW 07, Paseban, Jakarta Pusat 10440 Indonesia
Phone/ Fax: +62-21-3917317
Email: komite.pusat@prp-indonesia.org/ prppusat@gmail.com/ prppusat@yahoo.com
Website: www.prp-indonesia.org
Facebook: Perhimpunan Rakyat Pekerja

========================================

Feb 12th 2010

Support Workers’ Demands for Labour Rights in Burma

Joint statement by ;

Asian Migrant Centre, MAP Foundation and the Workers and Farmers Solidarity League of Burma


On February 8th 2010, 3,600 factory workers, mostly women, in the Hlaing Tharyar industrial zone in Rangoon, Burma, protested against the substandard working conditions they are forced to endure in the factories. Workers employed at the Opal 2 and Mya Fashion factories  demanded a wage increase of 10US$ a month. The next day, workers at the Taiyee shoe factory, and the Kya Lay garment factory also came out to demand the enforcement of public holidays, an increase in their daily wage, proper payment of overtime and other basic rights.

The Burmese military regime responded by bringing in hundreds of armed police and warned the workers that they would face a violent crackdown if they did not disperse peacefully. On February 10th the workers had little choice but to accept a compromised settlement of a monthly increase of US$2 –US$5. But then the next day, February 11th, workers from Myanmar Sunny shoe factory form Industrial Zone No.(2) and from Miss Style shoe factory from Industrial Zone No.(3) announced that they would also demand increased wages.

The industrial zone where these factories are located employs between 50,000 to 70,000 workers. The factories are owned by Korean, Thai and Burmese nationals, among others.

Burma continues to be ruled by a military dictatorship with a record of violent crack- downs against any form of protest or gatherings over 5 people. Trade unions are banned. Workers in Burma are thus denied their basic rights of assembly and collective bargaining. In addition, with a blackout on news coverage of any unrest, workers are completely isolated from international attention.

The isolation of the workers, the presence of the military and the history of the regime is  cause for  grave concern for the safety and the rights of all workers  in Burma and  urgently for the workers in the Hlaing Tharyar industrial zone.

It is also important to note that there are no international agencies in Burma who can support the rights of workers and monitor the situation, due to the restrictive political environment inside Burma.

Asian Migrant Centre, MAP Foundation and the Workers and Farmers Solidarity League of Burma, applaud the brave action taken by the workers and stand in solidarity with all workers in Burma in their struggle for workers rights.  We are deeply disturbed by the threat of military force by the military junta in responding to these strikes by workers exercising their freedom of association.

The workers in Burma need your voices.  They need your trade unions, civil society organizations and media to highlight their situation, to raise these violations of workers rights with your governments, especially those who are investing in Burma and your governments who are trading with Burma. Please petition your governments urgently.

The workers in Burma need you to demand that the International Labour Organisation (ILO) expand its mandate in Burma to include all forms of exploitation, not only forced labour.

You can also write letters to Sen. Gen Than Shwe c/o Ministry of Defence, Naypyidaw, Myanmar, to express your outrage at the use of threats of violence to quell workers’ call for a US$5 a month raise.

And finally please send a message of support to the brave workers in Burma at solidarityburma@gmail.com

Unite with Workers in Burma!

For further information, please contact:

Workers and Farmers Solidarity League of Burma at Wfslb2009@gmail.com

or email:  solidarityburma@gmail.com

or  contact Reiko Harima Asian Migrant Centre Tel: +852 23120031

or   contact Jackie Pollock MAP Tel: +66 860904118

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