Tuesday, February 07, 2012

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Workers Strike over Chinese New Year Wage Dispute.. Irrawaddy .. 7 February 2012

Workers Strike over Chinese New Year Wage Dispute

By KHIN OO THAR / THE IRRAWADDY Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Workers at a factory in the Hlaing Tharyar Industrial Zone strike against substandard working conditions on Feb. 8, 2010. (Photo: The Irrawaddy)
More than a thousand workers at a Chinese-owned shoe factory in Rangoon went on strike on Monday after they discovered that they would not be paid for an enforced five-day break to mark the Chinese New Year.
The strike, by workers of the Tai Yi Slipper factory in Rangoon's Hlaing Tharyar Industrial Zone (3), continued into a second day on Tuesday, according to lawyer and worker's rights activist Pho Phyu.
“We are trying to find the best solution for both sides,” Myat Thin Aung, the chairman of the Hlaing Tharyar Industrial Zones, told The Irrawaddy on Tuesday, adding that officials from the Ministry of Labor are also involved in negotiations.
The workers, who say they should be paid for the five days of work they missed because it was the company's decision to close for the holiday, were forced to disperse this afternoon without achieving their aims.
According to Pho Phyu, the workers are also angry over wages deducted for lateness caused by ferry service delays.
In the past two years, workers in Rangoon's industrial zones have gone on strike on a number of occasions to protest wage deductions and poor working conditions.
According to Myat Thin Aung, there are more than 40,000 workers employed by a wide range of factories at six industrial zones in Hlaing Tharyar.


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