Labour reps want new coun­cil mem­bers

The Myanmar Times - - News - KYAW KO KO kyawkoko@mm­

LABOUR rep­re­sen­ta­tives on a key em­ploy­ment dis­putes res­o­lu­tion body should be elected by work­ers them­selves, Man­dalay union rep­re­sen­ta­tives are in­sist­ing. They are protest­ing against a de­ci­sion to re­s­e­lect mem­bers of the lo­cal Ar­bi­tra­tion Coun­cil who, they say, were not prop­erly elected.

About 100 work­ers in Man­dalay protested over the re­s­e­lec­tion on Au­gust 21. They say they will con­tinue to protest un­til new coun­cil mem­bers have been cho­sen. The cur­rent coun­cil mem­bers were ap­pointed by the Min­istry of Labour with­out trans­parency, Saw Hla Aung of the Worker Union’s Co­op­er­a­tion Com­mit­tee in up­per Myan­mar said on Au­gust 21.

“The unions were not in­formed when the coun­cil mem­bers were se­lected to rep­re­sent work­ers na­tion­wide. The newly ap­pointed mem­bers were put for­ward by labour or­gan­i­sa­tions se­lected by the Min­istry of Labour. We will con­tinue to de­mand that a new elec­tion be held for rep­re­sen­ta­tives. De­ci­sions of the ar­bi­tra­tion coun­cil are very im­por­tant for the lives of work­ers,” he said.

Un­der the Labour Dis­putes Laws of 2012 and 2014, the Ar­bi­tra­tion Coun­cil has the right to re­solve dis­putes be­tween em­ploy­ers and work­ers. The coun­cil com­prises 15 mem­bers, of whom five are ap­pointed by the labour min­istry, five are ap­pointed by management or­gan­i­sa­tions and five are elected by work­ers, for a two-year term. The next term be­gins in Septem­ber.

The unions are say­ing that the se­lec­tion of the five labour rep­re­sen­ta­tives on July 12 was not con­ducted in a trans­par­ent man­ner.

“The best way is to se­lect new coun­cil mem­bers. I want a free and in­de­pen­dent se­lec­tion com­mis­sion to be or­gan­ised that would in­vite all the or­gan­i­sa­tions that rep­re­sent work­ers to take part in the elec­tion,” said one of the work­ers who par­tic­i­pated in the protest.

Daw Khin Su Su Haing, a mem­ber of the elec­tion com­mis­sion, told The Myan­mar Times last week there would be no new elec­tion.

– Trans­la­tion by San Layy

Photo: EPA

The Thanl­win River flows through moun­tain­ous re­gions of eastern Myan­mar.

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