Tuesday, 30 July 2013

The Myanmar Times: Business leaders promote workers' rights

The Myanmar Times reports:
The Myanmar Women’s Entrepreneur Association has launched a code of conduct intended to reduce disputes and friction between employers and employees as well as promote workers’ rights.
Association vice-president Daw Hnin Wai, who led the drafting of the code, told a press conference on July 26 that it covers child labour, workers’ rights and pensions for staff at private companies, among other issues. Twenty-one businesswomen signed on to the code at the event.
“Company owners must know that employees have a right to demand their rights be met, and workers must know that they can protest but they have to work while they are waiting for a settlement,” said Daw Hnin Wai.

Association members said the code was drafted following discussions with the International Labour Organisation and the Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement’s department of social welfare. The code includes sections on
setting a basic salary, overtime, fair pay, employee health and social welfare, and pensions.

“If the code is widely disseminated, I believe that the working environment and working conditions will improve,” one association member said. “As employers we seem to think that we know what workers’ rights are, but after studying various codes of conduct, I realised that we lack basic knowledge about workers’ rights,” Daw Hla Wadi said.

“If company owners follow the code, I believe that communication between owners and workers will improve a great deal and successful businesses will be created.”

Association members said they plan to offer pension plans to employees who have worked at their companies for than 10 years.

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