News from the Federation of General Workers Myanmar (FGWM)

The Federation of General Workers Myanmar (FGWM) shares the following updates:

  • Myanmar industrial workers, especially garment workers are in the front line against military dictatorship in Myanmar since the start of the coup and until now. They are still participating in every possible way in the struggle against the military junta, such as participating in flash mob strikes, online campaigns and funding the resistance forces.
  • The majority of garment workers are women. At the workplace, they face the violation of labour rights on various levels; e.g forced overtime without compensation, higher production targets demanded by bosses, pressure on permanent workers to resign and be employed again as daily wage workers. Recently a new trend can be observed: owners close their factories, re-open them again with another name, and re-hire workers as daily wage workers. Factory owners want to get rid of permanent workers to avoid having to pay legal entitlements. This is one way of how factory owners worsen working conditions and the life of workers in Myanmar. Due to the social and economic hardships, and lack of employment opportunities, an increase in child labour can be observed in the garment sector.
  • In the past two years the world was able to witness the brutality of the military towards the people in Mynamar. Thousands of civilians were killed and villages attacked. Many of which burnt down during air strikes.
  • The Federation of General Workers Myanmar (FGWM) and Myanmar Labour Alliance (MLA), together with over 200 other civil society organizations, keep calling for the support of comprehensive economic sanctions on Myanmar. This is the only way to stop flow of money to the Myanmar military.
  • Brands are taking advantage of the political instability. In factories producing for major brands such as H&M, Lindex and Mark Apparel, workers are being attacked by supervisors, for example with a hot iron. These violent acts are part of a structural problem. They aim to put workers unter pressure to finish production targets. There are no mechanisms in place to prevent this kind of power abuse.

The FGWM joins Global May Day 2023 and will created t-shirts with these prints:

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