Myanmar workers protest demanding higher wages

Yangon, July 12 (IANS) Hundreds of workers in Mayanmar’s Yangon city staged a demonstration on Sunday, demanding higher wages.

Myanmar’s National Minimum Wage Committee proposed on June 29 a negotiable minimum eight-hour daily wage of 3,600 kyats (about $3) for all workers after conclusion of one year’s coordination between the government, employers and labour representatives, Xinhua news agency reported.

The committee comprising ministerial representatives, employers and labour organisations also invited feedback from the public.

It set a July 13 deadline for the submission of the report which would be forwarded to parliament for final acceptance.

Myanmar’s garment entrepreneurs objected to the proposed rate which is to be raised from 2,500 kyats offered, arguing that if the government rate is finally adopted, their factories will be forced to close down in September.

According to the Garment Entrepreneurs’ Association, over 30 factories with foreign investment in Yangon expressed their intent to shut down in September if the proposed hike in the minimum wages takes effect on September 1.

The intended closure of the 30 factories may result in more 70,000 people losing their jobs.

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