The birth of the Hosheng Myanmar Garment Union

Meeting of workers from Hosheng Myanmar Garment Union

Since the coup, both international and local corporations have eventually decided not to abide by the labour law when it comes to workplace ethics. In some companies, they even went further to exploit and attack the rights of the workers by forcing them to work in an unsafe environment without any fair compensation. Some workers are not being paid fully or are not being paid enough for their labour. When they complained to the managerial class, the managers normally decided to defend their bosses and the companies. In some cases, they even collaborate with the officers from the military junta in order to threaten the workers in order to get them to work under-waged. Since the officers under the military junta are corrupt and the justice system is ruined under the inefficient military dictatorship, the labour laws are not that effective when it comes to protecting the workers.

Submitted by heinhtetkyaw on April 16, 2023

Workers have no choice but to organise themselves under the current junta administration in order to protect their self interests, their rights and dignity. According to the labour law in Burma, it's a legal right for the workers to unionise or join an existing union. The Myanmar Pou Chen Workers Union is one of the most popular labour movements after the coup, a movement that rebelled against a foreign company, an Adidas-affiliated Taiwanese company, and its exploitation of the workers. The Myanmar Pu Chen Workers Union is fairly new, but the struggle they waged was so incredible that the international media were even forced to feature their struggles. Furthermore, the way they interact with the public is really great. They managed to propagate the essence of revolutionary syndicalism, where the collective struggles of each worker are appreciated.
Hosheng (Myanmar) Garment Company Limited is a foreign manufacturing company that is located at No. 52 Myay Tine Ward No. 51, Thardukan Industrial Zone, Shwepyithar Township, Yangon Region. It was reported that there is a newly formed workers' union at Hosheng (Myanmar) Garment Company Limited, which is called HoSheng Myanmar Garment Union. In March 2023, they submitted a paper in which they demanded 22 points from the company and its management.

The points they have demanded can be seen on their official Facebook page:

Here, I will attach the English-translated version of the points they have demanded.

  • We demand for the privilege of taking paid vacations.
  • We demand the right to a safe working environment as well as the right to compensation for workplace-related injuries.
  • We demand that the business's owners and managers prepare the ferries in proportion to the number of employees. If a worker chooses not to use the company-provided ferries, we demand that they be dropped off at a safe pickup location where they can continue to use another form of transportation. We also demand that they be granted the right to reimbursement for the cost of their transportation (to and from the workplace).
  • We insist on having at least two hours of notice and discussion on any required overtime.
  • Given that the current exit/doors are broken, we want fingerprint readers for each department as well as an additional door.
  • We demand that the workers be given access to purified water for health.
  • In addition to other medical supplies, we require a nurse to address the workers' health concerns.
  • We demand that owners and managers stop treating full-time employees and temporary employees unfairly.
  • We urge that owners and management respect the workers' personal time and refrain from holding meetings after hours.
  • (The image I received was cut off at number 9 for page 1)
  • We demand that the leads and managers cease intimidating the employees. Additionally, we demand that the management discipline them if they are found to have harassed the employees.
  • In the event that an overtime at work is required, we demand to be paid immediately and to be given meals on the condition that it lasts longer than three hours.
  • We demand that the attendance incentive be paid out within 15 days, preferably sooner.
  • We urge an end to the practise of dismissing or firing employees in violation of labour laws.
  • We insist on communicating with foreigners via a translation or interpreter rather than directly.
  • We demand to be allowed to gate pass in case of emergencies and we demanded to be allowed for an easy gate pass with a considerable reason.
  • For each year of employment, we expect an increase in monthly salary for 5000MMK.
  • We demand that management pin the names, pictures, and phone numbers of the WCC in a location where employees can quickly access them.
  • We demand that the workplace be given the necessary material resources in a sufficient quantity and that we not be punished if these resources are damaged due to workplace accidents.
  • Since the current wages are not adequate, we demand to be compensated for the skills.
  • (I'm unable to translate this because I don't have a thorough understanding of their industry.)
  • We urge that the warning be given both orally and in writing, and that the confession promise be made in accordance with labour legislation.

However, it's reported that the company and the management haven't replied back as of March 19, 2023.
In conclusion, it is still unclear to which national trade union organisation Ho Heng Myanmar Garment Union would affiliate. There are a handful of trade union organisations in Burma. Naming a few would include the Solidarity Trade Union of Myanmar, the Confederation of Trade Unions of Myanmar, and the Federation of General Workers of Myanmar. Nevertheless, it's wonderful to observe an increase in working-class class consciousness, which leads to organisations like the Ho Sheng Myanmar Garment Union and other workers' unions. This is the first step towards achieving a socioeconomic situation in which every worker will call for an autonomous workers' councils free from the tyranny of political parties and governments with centralism.



1 year 1 month ago

Submitted by Steven. on April 17, 2023

Very interesting development, please let us know how this dispute continues!


1 year 1 month ago

Submitted by heinhtetkyaw on April 21, 2023

Thanks comrade. I will keep in touch with them and will share how this dispute continues.

Submitted by Steven. on April 24, 2023

heinhtetkyaw wrote: Thanks comrade. I will keep in touch with them and will share how this dispute continues.

thanks, look forward to reading it!