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Garment firms lay-off workers as dollar weakens
Aug '11
A slump in export orders following depreciation in value of the US dollar vis-à-vis the Myanmar Kyat has resulted in lay-off of workers at several garment factories throughout Yangon.

Exports from Myanmar have been rapidly losing their competitiveness against other nations in the region since early June when dollar plummeted to touch a low of around K750.

Though the currency recovered to around K800 towards end of June, it has once again started plummeting since the end of July.

With the decrease in export orders, it has become difficult for the exporters to subsist and they are now searching newer markets for their products.

Majority of the workers in garment factories are women who have no other source of livelihood if the factories are shut. Moreover, the companies have spent on training these workers, and hence are trying hard to retain them. However, the companies are laying-off their temporary unskilled workers.

Myanmar made US$ 489 million from garment exports during last year. Export revenues for the early part of the current year too are expected to be higher than corresponding period of last year, but depreciation in value of dollar means that exporters will make much less profits.

Hlaing Tharyar Industrial Zone, the country's biggest industrial zone, houses 500 factories with about 40,000 workers, who are entitled to a monthly minimum wage of K40,000 for work of 8 hours a day and additional pay for overtime work. But these days, overtime work has become rare due to decreasing demand.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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