Following a strike, several members of the Hosheng Myanmar Garment Union have been arrested by security forces of the military dictatorship.
Hosheng Myanmar is a garment factory in Yangon, Myanmar. Hosheng Myanmar Garment Co. Ltd. is owned by Chinese nationals and is affiliated with international brands such as Zara and Inditex. The Hosheng workers’ union was born a few months earlier in the hope of fighting for their rights and organising the syndicalist strikes. The daily pay rate for each worker was reportedly $2. The Hosheng Myanmar workers’ union recently had a strike campaign to ask for a pay increase of $3 USD daily from the original $2 USD. As a strike tactic, The Hosheng Myanmar workers’ union has led 600 workers from the garment factory not to work since June 14th. As a result of the strike, some military officers and police officers have come to the Hosheng Myanmar garment factory on the request of the factory managers and higher-ups to convince the workers to stop the strike. Even though the military officers and police have claimed their intentions to convince the workers, according to the video clips, their conversation was constructed around the power imbalance between them. The military officers, the police, and the factory managers can be seen swearing, raising their voices out of anger, taking moral superiority, and threatening in the video being recorded and shared. The military officers, the police, and the factory managers accused the workers of being indoctrinated and influenced by the political groups. Apparently, the conversation didn’t reach an agreeable conclusion. Moreover, seven representatives of the workers’ union were invited again to discuss these matters. On their way back, the military officers, the police, and the factory managers arrested one female unionist, "Thu Thu San," and started their interrogation.
During the discussion between the seven representatives of the workers’ union and the military officers, the police, and the factory managers, on the other hand, a few of these points were discussed.
• The workers in the factory should have been entitled to their paid leaves.
• The factory is responsible for the safety of the workplace and is responsible for preparing medics in case workers are injured.
• The factory is responsible for providing proper access to the ferry for all the workers.
• The workers should be informed two hours earlier in case of the need for overtime.
• The factory is expected to prepare finger-print machines and another door.
• The factory is expected to provide hygiene and healthy drinking water for the workers.
• The factory is expected not to host work-related meetings outside of working hours.
• The factory is expected to warn the managers, team leaders, and higher-ups not to use slurs and dehumanising manners of conduct against the workers.
• The factory is expected to prepare the food for the workers and to pay the OT wages instantly in cases where overtime exceeds 3 hours.
• The workers should be eligible for the bonus for having no sick days.
As a result, the unionist workers "Thu Thu San", "Aye Thandar Htay", "Thandar Aye", "May Thu Min, Aung Aung", "Ye Naing," and "Ye Thway Hlaing" are all expelled from Hosheng Myanmar Garment Co. Ltd. So far, it’s reported that the military officers and the police came to arrest all five more Hosheng Myanmar Garment Workers’ Union members and two independent labour activists for inciting riots (as they claimed). Similarly, it’s also reported that similar cases happened to another workers union from a factory called "Sun Apparel," and two unionist workers were arrested too. "Sun Apparel Factory" is currently owned by Thai nationals and is affiliated with the "JAKO" international brand.
Since the coup, labour laws and labour rights have been violated. Even under NLD leadership since 2015, even though NLD leadership under Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is capitalist, they have advocated a lot for labour laws and labour rights both independently and with the help of organisations such as the ILO. In contrast, a military officer said in their conversation with some unionists according to a video being published by a local media, and I quote "There is no workers union under our military leadership".