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  • Writer's pictureIWW Ireland

Report on Trade Unions Under Military Rule in Myanmar conference


Myanmar is a country bordered by India, China, Thailand and Laos. Dr Maung Zarni, a Myanma academic, described racial capitalism inherited from the British, who are pioneers of apartheid. Two key banks that were involved in the colonisation are Lloyds and Barclays. Dr Zarni described the internal Balkanization that is occurring in Myanmar that resulted in the Rohingya genocide in 2016.



On 1 February 2021 a coup was held by the military, which has carried out air strikes on hospitals, schools and homes. The Confederation of Trade Unions of Myanmar (CTUM) have indicated that the military is weakening but more sanctions and enforcement of sanctions are desperately needed. CTUM are calling for the military to have their access to aviation fuel cut off. The Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM) are organising peaceful protests and facing incredible police violence. CDM members are also being dismissed en masse and facing eviction. While people are talking about their future and re-establishing democracy, morale is beginning to falter due to a lack of international support.


Khaing Zar, a member of Global Women’s Strike and representative of over 10,000 workers, spoke of how some union members have been fatally shot or imprisoned, tortured then released. Strikers get arrested and active unionists have been abducted and tortured.


Brands are incapable of doing their due diligence in Myanmar due to union repression. The CTUM have decided that boycotts of the brands that have refused to pull out of Myanmar is required. The brands still operating there are: Zara; H&M; New Look; Next; Adidas; Matalan; Lidl, and; Mango.


Show solidarity with workers in Myanmar.

An injury to one is an injury to all!


(Image: Pervious Garment Workers solidarity action held in Dublin)

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