Set­tle­ment, apology ends strike at slip­per fac­tory

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

SOME 600 dis­grun­tled work­ers at the Myan­mar DYC slip­per fac­tory in Min­gal­adon township ended their strike yes­ter­day, af­ter labour of­fi­cials me­di­ated a set­tle­ment and a Korean su­per­vi­sor of the op­er­a­tion apol­o­gised for al­legedly abu­sive con­duct, ac­cord­ing to the work­ers and a fac­tory of­fi­cial.

“We all made a con­tract agree­ment to obey nine points. We also ac­ceded to the [de­mand of] work­ers to pay their wages for the strik­ing days, al­though we didn’t need to pay ac­cord­ing to law,” Ma Ju Jue, an as­sis­tant man­ager for the fac­tory’s hu­man re­sources depart­ment, said yes­ter­day.

Work­ers told The Myan­mar Times that they had for­given the Korean su­per­vi­sor, in­den­ti­fied as “Mr Lee”, be­cause he had apol­o­gised for the abu­sive con­duct he was ac­cused of and promised the strik­ing labour­ers that he would not treat them dis­re­spect­fully in fu­ture.

“All our dis­putes have been re­solved suit­ably be­cause the fac­tory has ac­ceded to all our de­mands. All work­ers are sat­is­fied with [the apology and prom­ise of] the Korean su­per­vi­sor,” said Ko Sithu, a work­ers’ rep­re­sen­ta­tive.

As part of the set­tle­ment, the fac­tory has agreed to al­low the Labour Depart­ment to take le­gal ac­tion against the Korean su­per­vi­sor, should he re­vert to old form.

The fac­tory also promised to hon­our its em­ploy­ees’ lunch break and would not re­strict their move­ments in and out of the fac­tory com­pound.

Past dis­putes be­tween man­age­ment and the work­ers are not to be lit­i­gated in fu­ture, ac­cord­ing to the set­tle­ment, and go­ing for­ward, the fac­tory also pledged not to har­bour any en­mity to­ward its em­ploy­ees over their pre­vi­ous ac­tions.

“We all have ac­cepted obey­ing the con­tract agree­ment. Both sides will face ac­tion from labour of­fi­cials if we vi­o­late the con­tract. We will have ac­tion taken against us if we protest again,” said Ko San Min Than, a ma­chin­ist at the fac­tory.

The 600 work­ers be­gan their strike on Novem­ber 12 af­ter an em­ployee who had quar­relled with the Korean su­per­vi­sor was fired. The dis­missal boiled over into broader anger about the Korean su­per­vi­sor’s con­duct to­ward his sub­or­di­nates, who ac­cused him of treat­ing them poorly, in­clud­ing sex­u­ally ha­rass­ing fe­male em­ploy­ees.

Un­til yes­ter­day, the strik­ing work­ers had called for his sack­ing.

The Korean-owned Myan­mar DYC slip­per fac­tory opened in 2014 and em­ploys 1555 peo­ple, in­clud­ing ad­min­is­tra­tive staff, ac­cord­ing to fac­tory of­fi­cials.

Photo: Sup­plied

Work­ers strike out­side the Myan­mar DYC slip­per fac­tory in Min­gal­adon township,Yan­gon Re­gion.

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