Burma (Myanmar)

Defying Challenges, Myanmar Workers Win Rights at Work

Fifteen minutes before the gray, 12-foot gate of the garment factory compound in Myanmar’s Hlaing Thar Yar industrial zone opens to release workers, vendors selling fried chicken on sticks and bags of nuts gather in anticipation. At a designated time, the guards roll back the gate and the vendors push their heavy carts up a… [READ MORE]

Myanmar Officially Recognizes Trade Union Confederation

Fabulous news for working people in Myanmar: The government has officially recognized the Confederation of Trade Unions of Myanmar (CTUM), and registered the federation as representing “all Myanmar.” In a ceremony today, CTUM President Maung Maung and other union leaders received the registration papers, with Maung Maung thanking “everyone who made this vision of ours… [READ MORE]

Thailand: Founders of Migrant Workers Network Get ILRF Award

Secretary General Sawit Kaewwan of the State Enterprises Workers’ Relations Confederation (SERC) and President Aung Kyaw of the Migrant Worker Rights Network (MWRN) received awards yesterday in Washington, D.C., for their work to protect and promote the rights of migrant workers in Thailand. The International Labor Rights Forum (ILRF) presented the labor rights defenders awards… [READ MORE]

Interview: Labor, Business Must Partner for Ethical Investment in Burma

Political transformation is happening fast in Burma, but social and cultural change are just beginning—putting the country at a key tipping point for how it ultimately will be structured, says Pyi Thit Nyunt Wai, general secretary of the Federation of Trade Unions-Burma (FTUB). “We’re starting at ground zero. The country is like dough that’s being kneaded…. [READ MORE]

Exiled Burmese Trade Union Leader Returns Home

More than two decades after a violent military crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators forced thousands of Burmese activists into prison or exile, Maung Maung has returned home. The general secretary of the Federation of Trade Unions – Burma (FTUB), Maung Maung spent the last 24 years nurturing the Burmese labor movement from his exile in Thailand. “We… [READ MORE]

Democracy Activist Aung San Suu Kyi Meets with Burmese Migrant Workers and Solidarity Center Partner Organizations in Thailand

In her first visit outside her home country since 1988, Burmese democracy activist and member of parliament Aung San Suu Kyi visited migrant worker communities in Samut Sakhon Province, where 300,000 of Thailand’s estimated 2.5 million Burmese migrant workers live and work. Suu Kyi met Wednesday with seafood-processing workers at the learning center of the… [READ MORE]

Burmese Migrant Workers Double Their Wages after Strike

As workers around the world celebrated International Labor Day at the beginning of May, more than 500 migrant workers on the Thai-Burmese border took collective action to demand that their employer improve wages and working conditions in a garment factory where they were earning less than 25 cents per hour for an 11-hour shift, according… [READ MORE]

Burmese Trade Unions Fail to Find a ‘Safe Place’ to Organize

Workers in Burma, also known as Myanmar, are well under way to building independent trade unions in multiple sectors. In Yangon (Rangoon), the capital, the Solidarity Center’s Tim Ryan spoke with union organizers about forming independent unions and the current government’s stated commitment to democratic reform. Myo Aung Thant, a 56-year-old executive board member of… [READ MORE]

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