Saturday, April 19, 2014


Workers Struggles: Asia

Mine workers in Burma strike

Over 220 trainees recruited from 26 local villages in Burma’s Letpadaung area to work at a joint mining venture between Chinese firm Wanbao and military company Union of Myanmar Economic Holdings walked off the job on April 10. The young workers, who have been receiving training for over five months, are demanding a pay rise, improved safety and other basic rights. They come from families who had land confiscated to make way for the sprawling open-cut mine.
The trainees want their meagre $US120 monthly salary doubled and safety equipment provided. One worker told media that most trainees were university graduates who are given menial but dangerous tasks, such as spreading acid on the ground. Strikers said they will resign if their demands are not met.

Striking Cambodian construction workers reach agreement

Two hundred workers employed by outsourcing companies at Kampot Cement in Kampot province, Cambodia ended a 24-hour strike after contractors Banjamat and S&B agreed to some of their demands. Workers downed tools on April 11 to demand a 90 percent increase to lift their pay to $US130 a month, paid annual leave, days off on national holidays, long-term contracts, overall improvements in general working conditions and the reinstatement of fired unionists.
A Building and Wood Workers Trade Union Confederation (BWTUC) official told the media that the unionists were fired in November 2012, one month after forming a union. The Arbitration Council issued an order in 2012 for the reinstatement of sacked unionists and payment of wage entitlements.
The BWTUC, however, has only provided limited details of the return-to-work agreement. It reported that Banjamat and S&B would reinstate the sacked unionists, recognise the union, pay annual leave and introduce a check system for union dues.


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