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Hotel Workers’ Union Under Attack in Myanmar- July 2, 2015
Tourism is booming in Myanmar, but workers are still denied their basic rights after decades of dictatorship. CLICK HERE TO SEND A MESSAGE.
A large majority of workers at the Bagan Hotel River View in Central Myanmar (Burma) formed a legally registered union in June 2013 in response to longstanding grievances. Workers had gone years without a pay raise and distribution of the important service charges was not enforced. Management responded to the formation of a union by harassing and dscriminating against union members and officers. On March 7 this year, management summoned the union executive to a closed, filmed meeting in a private hotel room guarded by hotel security and instructed them to disband the union and to sign resignation letters. Five union leaders who refused were immediately terminated.
Photo Credit: The International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers' Association
The union contested these retaliatory dismissals and reinstatement was ordered by local arbitration councils on April 3 and again on May 6. When workers and union members demonstrated peacefully in front of the hotel on May 8 in support of the dismissed union leaders, management threatened immediate dismissal of any worker and their family members demonstrating support for the union.
With support from the IUF, the union continued to press for reinstatement. On June 18, hotel management offered formal reinstatement to the dismissed leaders but refused to allow them to return to work! The union leaders would receive only basic, minimal pay and be cut off from contact with workers and members at the workplace. Management also plans to appeal the reinstatement order, and the legal system allows them up to two years to lodge the appeal!
You can support this important struggle for trade union rights - CLICK HERE TO SEND A MESSAGE to the owners and management of the Bagan Hotel River View, telling them to immediately reinstate the 5 dismissed trade union leaders to their jobs, respect union rights and negotiate with the union in good faith.
The Bagan Hotel River View is one of 7 hotels owned by Myanmar's KMA Group, a conglomerate with holdings in agriculture, forestry, shipping, mining, construction, energy, machinery, and auto sales among other activities.