Labor Rights Challenges – Despite the strengthening of labour laws in Myanmar as it undergoes a period of political reform, the strength of the protection of workers, especially non-factory workers in Small and Medium Enterprises (“SMEs”), under such enhanced laws has not necessarily improved. Many employers continue to dominate the employer-employee relationship due to a lack of awareness and proper enforcement of the law, resulting in the continued prevalence of undesirable working conditions, such as long working hours without extra pay, and lack of job security and benefits for workers.There is a need for action from the government, civil society organisations, and international organisations to create greater awareness of labour law among all workers and employers in Myanmar in order to better protect those whom such law has been intended to protect.
This research interviewed 20 workers in Yangon. It reveals the reasons for the weak protection of the rights of workers, especially those who work in SMEs. The reasons for the weak protection include the lack of, or mistaken awareness of, rights among such workers; the fear of the potential loss of a job by claiming their rights, and the lack of assistance to enforce rights.
Topics: Labour rights