Premier Cof­fee fac­tory pays back over­time, law­suit dis­missed

The Myanmar Times - - News - ZAW ZAW HTWE za­wza­whtwe@mm­

A LAW­SUIT against the Hlaing Thar­yar town­ship Premier Cof­fee fac­tory was dis­missed yes­ter­day be­cause the owner paid back over­time wages to his 321 work­ers, ac­cord­ing to a Min­istry of Labour of­fi­cial.

“The cof­fee fac­tory paid back all the money owed to its work­ers ac­cord­ing to the labour law,” said U Chit Paw, deputy di­rec­tor of the min­istry’s Fac­to­ries and Gen­eral Labour Laws Depart­ment.

The com­pany ap­plied for the law­suit to be dis­missed and the depart­ment did not ob­ject.

In June, more than 300 daily wage work­ers de­manded over­time wages for work they had done on week­ends over the pre­vi­ous nine months. Nine months prior, new labour laws, up­dat­ing the 1951 laws, had come into ef­fect.

Ini­tially, the fac­tory owner re­fused to pay the over­time wages to daily work­ers be­cause they were not sure of the law.

Own­ers said they would pay up if they got a clear ex­pla­na­tion of these laws from the govern­ment.

On June 28, in re­sponse to the com­pany drag­ging its feet, the town­ship’s Fac­to­ries and Gen­eral Labour Laws Depart­ment sued the Premier Cof­fee fac­tory of­fi­cials.

From July 11 to 14, fac­tory own­ers handed over the re­quired K57.8 mil­lion to all 321 daily wage work­ers, ac­cord­ing to U Chit Paw.

“All the work­ers on daily wages are sat­is­fied as they got back the over­time pay they are en­ti­tled to ac­cord­ing to the labour laws,” said U Naing Win, for­mer union chair of the Premier fac­tory who was re­cently fired. “We helped them ex­er­cise their rights.”

The back wages cov­ered hours worked on Satur­day af­ter­noons and Sun­days, which are iden­ti­fied as over­time pe­ri­ods un­der the up­dated la­bor laws.

Any em­ployer who vi­o­lates the labour law can be sen­tenced to three months in pri­son and re­quired to pay a fine of at least K2 mil­lion.

The spokesper­son from the Premier Cof­fee Com­pany de­clined to com­ment when The Myan­mar Times called her yes­ter­day.

Photo: Staff

Yan­gon ven­dors give out sam­ples of Premier Cof­fee.

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