Labour reps want new council members
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
The Thanlwin River flows through mountainous regions of eastern Myanmar.