Strike Enters Fifth Day, Spreads to Other Factories

After a full week without reaching a resolution, a strike that began on Monday at a shoe factory in an industrial estate in eastern Rangoon has spread to two other factories, according to labor activists.

The strike started earlier this week after 1,800 workers at the Chinese-owned Tai Yi Slipper factory in Hlaing Tharyar Industrial Zone (3) demanded payment of wages for an unofficial holiday to mark the Chinese New Year in late January.

It has since been joined by workers from the New Way footwear factory and the Taylar garment factory, according to Zaw Min, a workers rights activist.

Su Su Nway, another activist who has had contact with the striking workers, said that talks scheduled to take place today were postponed until 10 am Saturday by the Tai Yi factory’s management.

She added that a lawyer will represent the workers during negotiations with the company.

The workers have also been unable to speak with government authorities, said Zaw Min.

The factory has already posted notices offering a pay raise of 10 kyat (about US $0.01) per hour, and a monthly bonus of 1,000 kyat ($1.25) to employees who aren’t late or absent for work.

However, the workers angrily removed the notices before leaving the work site on Friday.

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