Report from a fellow worker on the ground:
Sisters and brothers of the San Yuan Garment factory, members of the Federation of Garment Workers Myanmar (FGWM), celebrate their first day back to work by singing “Solidarity Forever” in Burmese.
After the factory mass-fired all union members for organizing a union to demand improvements in working conditions including Covid-19 safety measures, the union has fought for months and won reinstatement of all union members and beat back the union-busting using a strong membership and international solidarity from the Spanish and American labor movements.
The workers produce mainly for ZARA and Bershka (both Inditex Group).
International worker solidarity is both a necessity and an unstoppable force!
At factories named Very impressive Prospects (ViP) sporting goods are produced mostly for brands such as Mizuno, Evil Bikes, Pivot Cycles and CCM Sports. The factories are located in Myanmar.
Labor unions at ViP 1 and ViP 2 factory demanded Covid-19 safety measures – both of them members of the Federation of Garment Workers Myanmar (FGWM). In reaction all union members in both factories were dismissed. Furthermore the ViP 2 factory union president was stabbed by company thugs. It is a clear, brutal case of union-busting. Despite months of direct outreach from the unions, the brands have refused to intervene or mediate whatsoever.
Therefore comrades worldwide are asked to support the effort by reaching out to the brands using the campaign page on labourstartcampaigns.net.
The Federation of Garment Workers Myanmar (FGWM) expresses its solidarity with the garment workers at Dragon Sweater as part of the Global Month of Solidarity.
FGWM unites unions of 20 factories. The main struggle they are facing is union busting by targeted reduction of union members and leaders using CoViD-19 as a pretext, similar to developments at Dragon Sweater in Dhaka. Unions at four factories are currently involved in direct fights with the owners. Two are in the garment sector and another two are involved in lens and electronic materials production.
On August 16th workers of various factories took pictures in front of the FGWM union house located in Yangon.