Labour department to sue noncompliant factory again
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.
Workers from the Hla Won Htet Tha garment factory stage a protest over unpaid compensation in July.