Monday, 8 August 2016

Privatisation and its discontents

Workers from an agriculture machinery factory at 9 Mile in Yangon Region staged a protest against the Young Investment Group Industry Co Ltd (YIG) yesterday morning, claiming the company had fired nearly all of its employees without cause.
About 100 workers and their supporters gathered at Bo Sein Hman field for a three-hour demonstration against the YIG that lasted until noon. Participants said the company in question, which inherited the previously state-run factory when it was transferred by the government into private hands in 2013, had not honoured the terms of its contract with employees by gradually terminating all but six of the 69 workers employed at the time of the transfer. According to U Myint Lwin Oo, who led the protest as one of the workers who saw his pay change from government wage to private salary in 2013, said although the company had been authorised to take over production at the factory, since its transfer three years ago the facility remained essentially idle. “When they transferred the factory in 2013, the labour ministry, the YIG company and labour [representatives] held a discussion and made the contract, but now they are not following the contract and the ministry is neglecting it,” he said. “Besides, those workers for whom it is possible to be transferred back into government [employment] have been pressured to go back. And those for whom it is not possible to go back are being fired.” ... Ma Aye Myat Maw, one of the workers on the payroll at the time of the factory’s transfer, said, “The main thing is the company didn’t follow the principles of the contract. Why isn’t the [labour] ministry investigating the company? I want the ministry to take action against them. I also want stability with my job.”
"Dismissals at agricultural machinery factory spark protest," Myanmar Times, 8 August 2016

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