700 Protest South Korean Factory Closure in Rangoon

700 Protest South Korean Factory Closure in Rangoon

Workers from the Master Sports Footwear Factory in Rangoon march towards the South Korean Embassy on Thursday. (Photo: JPaing / The Irrawaddy)

Workers from the Master Sports Footwear Factory in Rangoon march towards the South Korean Embassy on Thursday. (Photo: JPaing / The Irrawaddy)

RANGOON — More than 700 workers protested Thursday in front of the South Korean Embassy in Burma to demand officials help them after a Korean-owned factory closed without paying their wages.

The workers from the Master Sports Footwear Factory in Rangoon said the owner closed the plant illegally and without notice in May and has left the country. They are demanding that the Korean ambassador help them. They said they were having trouble paying their rent and wanted assistance in finding new jobs.

After an elected government took office in 2011 in Burma, industry has grown and foreign investment poured in in the wake of Western nations dropping most of the sanctions they had maintained against the previous repressive army regime.

Factory workers’ strikes and protests have increased markedly. The new government instituted economic reforms, including the legalization of labor unions.

The workers said they have contacted not only the embassy, but also the Labor and Social Security ministries, parliament and the opposition National League for Democracy for assistance but had received no help.

“This is because the government never stands for the grassroots people,” said U Htay, a lawyer for the workers. “They never stand for the protection of the grassroots people or workers. It’s all because they cannot handle the rule of law and there is even more corruption and bias on the part of government officials and the businessmen. The only victims are the workers and grassroots people.”


2 Responses to 700 Protest South Korean Factory Closure in Rangoon

  1. Never easy for foreigner to operate in Myanmar. Firstly, rental is too high. Secondly, no basic infrastructure. Electricity supply not consistent. Thirdly, workers tend to protest over the smallest issue and due to the election next year, both opposition and government officials are siding for the workers, in exchange for vote without taking consideration of the Foreign Company. This is true and happening in Myanmar.

  2. All foreign companies are investing in Burma are not responsible investment. They came here for exploitation. Especial Korean companies are irresponsible.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>