Garment factory workers protest over claimed unfair dismissals

Writer: 
Pyae Phyo Aung
Labourers from two garment factories protesting on March 4.

More than 600 sacked garment factory workers staged a protest on Sunday to demand their employer reinstate them.

The workers, from Honeys Garment Factory (1) in Zaygabar compound, Mingaladon Township, claimed that they were fired following a dispute with the company over unreasonable working conditions.

“We had requested before all of this that they reduce our daily required quota and also that they speak nicely to us, instead of swearing at us,” said Yin Myo Thu, one of the dismissed workers. “But they did nothing, so some of us just started doing less. They were unhappy with us and removed us from our  positions.”

She claimed that before, the company had paid the minimum wage of Ks 3600, but each worker was awarded extra money based on their performance and the quality of their craft.

“Then they gave us the flat minimum wage of Ks 3,600 with unreasonable daily quota requirements. Many of us went to the factory chief to negotiate more appropriate terms but he did not care,” she said.

“Some of us stopped working and these workes were fired. More were fired for different reasons given. All we did was to negotiate with them and instead of recognising our rights, they chose to kick us out.”

The factory is supposedly owned by Japanese man.