Myanmar: Employers Must Accept Minimum Wage

Trade unions have reacted angrily to threats by Myanmar manufacturing companies, backed by Korean and Chinese business interests, to close around 100 factories if a minimum wage is introduced.

The government has announced a minimum wage of US$3.20 per day following a year of consultations between unions, government and employers.

Sharan Burrow, ITUC General Secretary, said “The new minimum wage will still leave workers and their dependents just above the global severe poverty line of US$1.25 per person, and many will still struggle to make ends meet. Now, just like the American Chamber of Commerce’s global campaign to undermine minimum wages and decent work, some companies in Myanmar are trying to stop workers getting even that basic level of income in order to survive. This is yet another example of the corrupt supply chain business model which impoverishes workers while shovelling more money into the pockets of the richest few.”

The National Trade Union Centre CTUM is planning a press conference on Sunday to announce its response to the factory-owners threats.