Labour de­part­ment to sue non­com­pli­ant fac­tory again

The Myanmar Times - - News - ZAW ZAW HTWE za­wza­whtwe@mm­times.com

THE gov­ern­ment is plan­ning to sue the Hla Won Htet Tha gar­ment fac­tory again, claim­ing that the owner has failed to pay his 85 work­ers, a labour of­fi­cial said.

“We re­ported them to the Min­istry of Labour in or­der to file the case,” U Khin Maung Cho, di­rec­tor of Hlaing Thar­yar township’s Labour Re­la­tion De­part­ment, said on Septem­ber 2. “If they con­tinue not to pay, their fac­to­ries will be sealed by a war­rant.”

The de­part­ment sent the fac­tory two let­ters de­mand­ing that the own­ers pay their work­ers the par­tial wages that they are owed, he said. Fac­tory of­fi­cials sent a mercy let­ter, ask­ing for per­mis­sion to pay on Septem­ber 10, he added.

The Korean-owned fac­tory opened in 2013 in the Shwe Lin Ban in­dus­trial zone of Hlaing Thar­yar. It closed sud­denly on June 25, with­out reach­ing agree­ment with any of the 85 work­ers about un­paid wages and fac­tory-clos­ing com­pen­sa­tion.

Af­ter two protest marches, the fac­tory paid par­tial com­pen­sa­tions and wages on July 17. It agreed to pay the re­main­ing K6 mil­lion on Au­gust 7.

This law­suit would be the sec­ond for the fac­tory in as many months: The owner was is­sued a K500,000 fine on Septem­ber 1, af­ter the township court de­ter­mined that of­fi­cials broke their labour agree­ment, which had promised a pay­ment by Au­gust 7.

“The fac­tory owner bought the laws with just K500,000,” said labour leader Ma Zin­mar Swe. “No labour of­fi­cials stood by our side on our griev­ances. They are giv­ing the ben­e­fit to the fac­tory by pro­long­ing pay­ment times.”

Labour lead­ers said that they have been job­less for nearly three months be­cause they have had to wait for their un­paid wages through the dis­pute process.

“We have not re­ceived any re­port or in­struc­tion from the min­istry about that fac­tory,” said the township’s Fac­to­ries and Gen­eral Labour Laws De­part­ment di­rec­tor U Chit Paw on Septem­ber 2. “We know the fac­tory ap­pealed for an ex­ten­sion. If we get in­struc­tion, we will sue the fac­tory.”

Hla Won Htet Tha gar­ment fac­tory man­ager Daw Ei Ei Swe did not re­spond to The Myan­mar Times’ re­quest for com­ment.

Cur­rently, the Hla Won Htet Tha fac­tory’s owner is run­ning two other gar­ment fac­to­ries in Hlaing Thar­yar township, ac­cord­ing to the work­ers.

Photo: Zaw Zaw Htwe

Work­ers from the Hla Won Htet Tha gar­ment fac­tory stage a protest over un­paid com­pen­sa­tion in July.

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