Rangoon division’s Industrial Workers Union is demanding paid-leave for factory workers in their jurisdiction during the country’s New Year holidays, Thingyan.
Ye Kyaw Thu, chairman of the Industrial Workers Union in Rangoon, said the ten-day public holiday is officially recognised, but workers at many industrial zone factories are not paid during the period.
“Government workers get to enjoy ten days of leave with full salary during the Thingyan holiday but for [industrial zone workers] we don’t get paid at all,” said Ye Kyaw Thu.
The chairman said the lack of pay would prevent employees from earning a living wage during the month. The time off would also prevent them from receiving a special bonus that is given to employees who do not take time off.
He said factories that make their employees take holidays and do not pay them are violating their workers’ rights. The union has officially appealed to President Thein Sein, People’s Parliament speaker Thura Shwe Mann and international labour groups to help resolve the issue.
The Rangoon division Industrial Workers Union represents the 18 industrial zones in the administrative area and has about 2000 registered members.