Protest / Strike


The Labour Tribunal Commission has ordered 158 workers, including Moe Moe Khing from the Costec garment factory in Shwe Pyi Tha Township, to resume work their respective factories within 30 days.
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Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha on Friday called for a three-way meeting with neighbours Malaysia and Myanmar to try to resolve a regional human trafficking crisis following the discovery of a mass grave in the country’s far south.
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A court in Naypyidaw’s Pyinmana Township sentenced five people to more than 20 years in prison on Wednesday after finding them guilty for instigating religious riots in Mandalay last July.
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When Yangon labourers from five foreign-owned factories reeled out the picket lines and demanded a meagre pay boost at the end of January, their calls were initially dismissed. Two weeks later, however, the government shifted into overdrive to quell the demonstrations at the behest of the South Korean embassy, The Myanmar Times has learned.
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The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Myanmar today called on the country’s authorities to address ongoing challenges to the democratic reform process “before they undermine the success achieved so far.” (more…)

Two labour union leaders and two activists under arrest for demonstrating for higher wages have threatened to go on hunger strike in Yangon’s Insein prison if their case is moved to another court. (more…)

The Rangoon government on Sunday defended its deployment of plainclothes men to assist in a recent crackdown on protesters, according to a prominent activist group, claiming that the move was within the law.
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Leaders of the 88 Generation Peace and Open Society (88GPOS) have denounced the government’s justification for using civilian volunteers in last week’s crackdown on students and activists in front of City Hall, during a meeting between the civil society group leaders and Rangoon Division government officials on Sunday.
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The violent police crackdown on largely peaceful protesters in Myanmar amounts to unnecessary and excessive use of force and must end immediately, Amnesty International said.
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Students gathered at Rangoon’s Hledan junction near the Rangoon University campus on Friday to protest a violent police crackdown a day earlier on protestors who were supporting students in the commercial capital’s downtown.
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Leaders from Burma’s most prominent pro-democracy group on Thursday condemned the government’s handling of a protest in Rangoon just hours prior, when baton-wielding police and plainclothes thugs forcibly dispersed a crowd in front of City Hall.
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In recent weeks, some 2,000 workers of the E-Land Myanmar, COSTEC and Ford Glory garment factories in Rangoon’s Shwepyithar Industrial Zone went on strike to demand a raise in monthly wages from 80,000 kyats [US$78], up from 50,000 kyats.
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Thirteen striking workers and two journalists were apprehended by police during a labour protest and detained in Rangoon’s Insein Township on Wednesday. (more…)

Local media spoke out on Thursday against the detention of two reporters covering a workers’ strike in Rangoon, claiming authorities are tightening their grip over the press as elections near and several protest movements gain traction. (more…)

Fourteen striking garment workers have been charged with rioting, police in Rangoon said on Thursday, punishable by up to two years in prison. (more…)

Police in Rangoon Division’s Insein Township arrested at least 20 striking workers on Wednesday afternoon who had begun a sit-in protest earlier in the day.
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“What is happening in Burma is a constitutional crisis,” says Bo Gyi, co-founder of the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), on the subject of the right to protest.
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Michaungkan land grab protestors were evicted by police from their rally camp in front of Rangoon City Hall in the early hours of Thursday morning. It is the second time the sit-in has been forcibly broken up by police after a similar incident in December.
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All garment factories that have been at the center of a long-running strike have reopened, but about 100 laborers continued to protest on Wednesday to demand a pay rise, a labor activist said.
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Myanmar workers are preparing to protest over alleged discrimination by Thailand’s PTT Exploration and Production Company, according to the Zawtika Offshore Myanmar Organization or ZOMO on February 20.
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