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No sweet deal for striking factory workers

Striking workers calling for an increase in their minimum wage and changes to paid holiday provisions were blocked from returning to their factory-owned living quarters.

More than 150 workers at the Yess Candy factory in Rangoon’s Hlaing Tharyar Industrial Zone went on strike on 7 January, demanding a minimum monthly salary of 30,000 kyat (US$30), as well as paid holiday on Sunday.

The strike ended that day, following negotiations where workers settled for a minimum monthly salary of 7,500 kyat, but workers found that they were blocked from their living quarters when they tried to return.

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“We demanded a 30,000 kyat minimum wage, though in the end we settled for 7,500 kyat, but they refused to allow us back to our living quarters in the evening,” said Theingi Myo, a worker who went on strike.

She told DVB that the workers had to seek accommodation at a nearby Buddhist monastery on Wednesday evening.

Most of the workers at the factory come from the Irrawaddy Delta and reside in accommodation provided by the company.

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