August 18, 2016

Final meeting on minimum wage negotiations set for 1 August

Red StoneYangon, 27 July — Yangon Region officials will hold a final meeting with employers to break a deadlock over the proposed minimum wage rate on 1 August, after which they will disclose the outcomes of negotiations, an official said Monday.
The previous meeting between the Yangon Region Minimum Wage Committee and factory bosses from some industrial zones over the proposed minimum wage of K3,600 for an eight-hour day were somewhat positive, thecommittee official told the Global New Light of Myanmar.
Legal amendments would be needed in order to settle some issues proposed by the employers, he added. The committee is holding a series of meetings starting from Saturday with employers and workers, mostly from the garment industry, who objected to the minimum wage proposal.
The government’s minimum wage body received more than 300 objections from factory owners, mostly from garment industry, and workersin Yangon after the committee issued a notification on the minimum wage proposal on 29 June.
Dozens of major global brands have backed the proposed minimum wage, calling for guaranteed pay rates as a means of promoting investment in the country’s garment industry and lifting the living standards of its workers.
Both the Ethical Trading Initiative and the Fair Labor Association — comprising companies  sourcing from, or considering investing in, Myanmar —  expressed their support for the minimum wage in letters to the Union Minister for Labour, Employment and Social Security and the Chair of the National Committee on the Minimum Wage.
The Fair Labor Association counts sportswear giant Adidas and outdoor clothing manufacturer Patagonia among its members, while the Ethical Trading Initiative includes international retail heavyweights Tesco, H&M and Gap Inc.
In the letters dated 14 July, both bodies lauded the government for undertaking a transparent mechanism for setting the minimum wage in line with International Labour Organization conventions. GNLM


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