Call on the GUFs and SSOs to be involved in the ITUC project “Building a strong trade union movement in Myanmar”

In September 2012, the General Secretary of the FTUB was allowed to come back to the country after many years of exile. The ITUC along with several SSOs and GUFs, immediately expressed support for the return of democracy and the launch of another phase of trade union operations.

A few months later, the ITUC Myanmar Project Office started its operations in the country to support the FTUM (Federation of Trade Union of Myanmar – former FTUB) and a Memorandum of Understanding was presented to the government for the recognition of that office. Since last December, the ITUC Myanmar Project Office is fully operational under the leadership of a Director (Bro. Shigeru Nakajima), who is supported by a Senior Programme Officer (Bro. Min Nyo), an organiser (Bro. Koko Khaing), along with an administrative assistant.

The first eight months of activity were already a success and the union growth is impressive: as of May 2013, FTUM counts 18,536 members organised in 135 trade unions (the objective would be to get 250,000 members by the end of 2013). Besides an expansion across many sectors of activity, the FTUM has also organised several important mobilisations, including recently on the 8th of March and on the 1st of May (See pictures on Facebook).

However, the government hasn’t yet recognized officially the union as a confederation.

A plan of action has been elaborated by the FTUM, with the support of the ITUC. The main objective of the strategic programme is to develop an independent, modern and democratic, united and free trade union movement in Myanmar, which evidences workers’ power and is capable to build democracy and ensure the respect of workers’ rights and social justice.

Several organisations have already provided some direct support to this programme. Yet further help is needed to ensure additional breakthroughs in the country.

The ITUC launches an appeal for further solidarity to the SSOs and the GUFs.

For more information, please contact Isabelle Hoferlin: [email protected].