Six fac­tory work­ers de­mand in­spec­tion of pub­lic-pri­vate con­tract

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

SIX fac­tory work­ers from the Min­istry of Agri­cul­ture, Live­stock, and Ir­ri­ga­tion’s Agri­cul­tural Ma­chin­ery Fac­tory are de­mand­ing an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the min­istry’s con­tract with a pri­vate com­pany, which they say guar­an­tees them a job with the pri­vate com­pany for 30 years.

Young In­vest­ment Groups In­dus­try (YIGI) com­pany won a 30-year gov­ern­ment con­tract in 2013 to build, op­er­ate and trans­fer an agri­cul­ture equip­ment fac­tory for the min­istry. As a part of the con­tract, 38 pub­lic work­ers were trans­ferred to YIGI.

Af­ter three years of ser­vice, YIGI de­cided to send some of the work­ers back to the min­istry, said labour leader U Aung Kyaw Tun Naing Oo, who is also a mem­ber of the Yan­gon Re­gional Ar­bi­tra­tion Com­mit­tee and a cen­tral com­mit­tee mem­ber of the Con­fed­er­a­tion of Trade Unions of Myanmar (CTUM).

“We trans­ferred to this com­pany be­cause of the writ­ten or­der,” he said at a press con­fer­ence yes­ter­day. “The min­istry or­der has al­lowed us to work for the com­pany for 30 years, ac­cord­ing to the for­eign ser­vices terms of laws.”

YIGI fac­tory ad­min­is­tra­tion com­mit­tee chair U Myint Thein told The Myanmar Times yes­ter­day that while 32 of the 38 work­ers re­turned to the gov­ern­ment depart­ment as or­dered, six gov­ern­ment work­ers, led by U Aung Kyaw Tun Naing Oo, have been fail­ing to hon­our the con­tract, which, he said, guar­an­teed only three years of work.

“We want to work,” said U Aung Kyaw Tun Naing Oo. “We want jobs that have guar­an­tees. They [min­istry of­fi­cials] ar­ranged for us to work at the com­pany for 30 years.”

He also de­manded that the gov­ern­ment take ac­tion against the min­istry of­fi­cials who is­sued the writ­ten or­der, and de­ter­mine if that or­der is il­le­gal.

They have asked the min­istry for an ex­pla­na­tion of the work or­der and have re­ceived no re­sponse, he said.

YIGI com­pany of­fi­cials said the Agri­cul­ture Ma­chin­ery Depart­ment is­sued let­ters to the six work­ers many times, re­call­ing them to their old jobs. Depart­ment of­fi­cials met with those work­ers ask­ing them to come back, YIGI of­fi­cials said, but the six work­ers have dis­obeyed the rules and laws.

“They are not our work­ers,” said U Myint Thein, a YIGI com­pany of­fi­cial. “They are gov­ern­ment staff. We sent them back be­cause their pri­mary depart­ment called them back, ac­cord­ing to the by-laws for gov­ern­ment work­ers.”

Ac­cord­ing to the or­der, which was ob­tained by The Myanmar Times, the 38 gov­ern­ment staff mem­bers were trans­ferred to YIGI for any­where from one to 30 years, de­pend­ing on the for­eign ser­vice terms in the by-laws for gov­ern­ment staff.

YIGI also re­leased 17 for­mer gov­ern­ment work­ers who, com­pany of­fi­cials say, had al­ready re­signed from the gov­ern­ment depart­ment with a pen­sion be­fore the con­tract in 2013.

Those work­ers are dis­obey­ing fac­tory rules and have failed to sign their new em­ploy­ment con­tracts, U Myint Thein said.

But the 17 work­ers say they did not take any com­pen­sa­tion. They are co­op­er­at­ing with the other six dis­sat­is­fied work­ers in de­mand­ing the gov­ern­ment solve their griev­ances and get their jobs back.

They plan to protest in co­op­er­a­tion with union work­ers if the min­istry and com­pany failed to solve their griev­ances, said U Aung Kyaw Tun Naing Oo.

Photo: Zaw Zaw Htwe

Work­ers from the Min­istry of Agri­cul­ture, Live­stock, and Ir­ri­ga­tion’s Agri­cul­tural Ma­chin­ery Fac­tory hold a press con­fer­ence in Yan­gon yes­ter­day.

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