Garment factory rehires workers, ending strike
THE Chinese-owned Cixing Knitting Factory in Hlaing Tharyar Township agreed yesterday to rehire seven sacked workers who are also union leaders, ending an almost two-weeklong strike.
“Factory officials agreed to rehire us according to our former agreement. We will be returning to work today,” Ko Tun Tun, one of the sacked factory union leaders, told the Myanmar Times.
About 100 striking workers have been protesting at the entrance to the factory since December 24, the day the management sacked the seven union leaders allegedly without giving them prior notice.
On January 2, factory officials agreed to the 17 demands put forward by the protesters, including rehiring the seven worker leaders following mediation by the township’s Labour Arbitration Committee.
However, the factory dismissed the seven leaders again for the second time on Monday, claiming that workers who did not join the strike were unhappy with the decision to rehire the seven union leaders, according to Ko Myo Thant Zin.
Earlier yesterday about 350 workers from 15 other factories in Hlaing Tharyar joined the strike and urged the management to settle the dispute and rehire the seven workers.
“Labour laws are too weak in Myanmar. Union leaders have been fired again and again without any repercussions, that is why we support this strike as we symphatise with their grievance,” said Ko Wai Yan Shine, township secretary for the Confederation of Trade Unions Myanmar (CTUM).
Later in the day, striking workers and factory management officials attended a conciliation meeting conducted by the township’s arbitration committee. In the meeting factory officials pledged to rehire the sacked workers.
Cixing Knitting factory opened in the Shwe Lin Ban Industrial Zone in Hlaing Tharyar Township in Yangon in 2017 and is believed to employ 300 workers.
Workers from other factories join striking Cixing Knitting Factory workers on Tuesday.