Vivo work­ers stage protest for over­time

The Myanmar Times - - Front Page - ZAW ZAW HTWE za­wza­whtwe@mm­

Over two dozen staff mem­bers of the phone re­tailer in Bago went on strike on July 25, protest­ing for paid over­time and hol­i­days.

TWENTY-SIX mem­bers of the sales staff at a Vivo smart­phone service cen­tre in Bago Re­gion’s Pyay town­ship sat out­side the com­pany’s of­fice in protest yes­ter­day, de­mand­ing over­time pay, paid hol­i­days and mu­tu­ally agreed con­tracts.

“The Chi­nese man­ager gave us a con­tract and asked us to sign it within a minute,” said Ko Myo Swe Oo, a Vivo sales­per­son. “We asked him for a mo­ment to think about it but the man­ager asked us to quit be­cause we did not sign.”

In re­sponse, the 26 sales­peo­ple de­cided to stage the sit-in – or rather sitout – protest that be­gan the night of July 25 and con­tin­ued yes­ter­day.

Ko Myo Swe Oo, who has worked at the store for more than a year, said the dis­grun­tled em­ploy­ees have been try­ing to ar­range a meet­ing be­tween work­ers, the em­ployer and labour of­fi­cials to nail down a con­tract.

“We haven’t signed any em­ploy­ment con­tracts yet,” he said. “They have been talk­ing about con­tracts for a while but they have not writ­ten [a new] one un­til now. The con­tract the man­ager asked us to sign is one-sided and only for their own in­ter­ests.”

Sales staffers work 12 hours ev­ery day with­out be­ing paid over­time, he said. They do not get time off on hol­i­days or week­ends, he added, and if they miss one day of work they are docked three days’ wages.

The Town­ship Labour Ad­min­is­tra­tion Depart­ment has promised to re­solve the dis­pute, Vivo sales staffers said, and labour of­fi­cials have ar­ranged to me­di­ate a meet­ing be­tween the work­ers and the em­ployer to­day.

The Myan­mar Times called the depart­ment and the Vivo of­fices in Pyay town­ship yes­ter­day but nei­ther were avail­able for com­ment.

Ac­cord­ing to labour laws, em­ploy­ers and work­ers must sign a con­tract that is mu­tu­ally agreed upon, and any changes to the terms or com­pany rules and poli­cies must be made in the pres­ence of a labour of­fi­cial.

Photo: Zaw Zaw Htwe

Em­ploy­ees stage a protest out­side the of­fice of a Vivo smart­phone service cen­tre in Pyay town­ship, Bago Re­gion, on July 25.

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