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Labour trouble looms in Myanmar over minimum wages
Jul '15
Myanmar could be headed for another round of industrial turmoil as labour unions and garment entrepreneurs dug in their heels on the issue of minimum daily wage set by the government, according to media reports.

Five Myanmar workers' federations in Yangon have agreed on the government's recent designation of 3,600 kyats (about $3.27) as minimum daily wages as a final stage of negotiation, saying that there will be no further talks on the issue.

The five workers' federations stressed the need to form a socio-economic committee comprising representatives from the government, employers and employees.

On June 29, the government designated 3,600 kyats (about $3.27) as the proposed minimum daily wage for all workers in the country after conclusion of a year's coordination between the government, employers and labor representatives. Ahead of the government announcement of the minimum wage, some garment industry representatives had argued for minimum wages as low as 2500 kyats.

Myanmar's garment entrepreneurs have now voiced objections to the proposed minimum rate, saying that the issue will be submitted to the regional authorities for further action.

According to the chairman of the Myanmar Garment Entrepreneurs Association (MGEA) U Myint Soe, 145 MGEA members out of 300 attending a meeting on the issue expressed objection on the government's designated basic minimum daily wages for all workers in the country.

Some foreign entrepreneurs disagreed to raise their original minimum pay scale to the rate announced by the government, arguing that if the new rate is finally adopted, their factories will be forced to close down in September.

Entrepreneurs present at the meeting urged the government to subsidize for the required wages in the midst, warning that if factories stop operation, thousands of workers will be jobless. (SH)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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