Ten global unions representing more than 200 million workers are ramping up pressure on governments and corporations to target the commercial interests of Myanmar's military leaders – including an end to the country's preferential EU trade status.

"We urge trade unions and workers around the world to organise, unite and stand with the people of Myanmar and isolate the Commander-in-Chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing and other military leaders responsible for the coup," says the group, which includes the IndustriAll Global Union and the UNI Global Union.

They are calling on the UN Security Council to impose sanctions against the military leaders responsible for the coup; and to impose a global arms embargo on Myanmar.

They also want the European Union to cancel Myanmar's Everything But Arms (EBA) preferential trade status

And they urge international companies operating in Myanmar to end any direct or indirect business relationships or financial ties to military-owned businesses – and to use their leverage to secure the release of detainees, restore democratic institutions, and guarantee the human and labour rights of all Myanmar workers. 

In addition, they are asking unions worldwide to exert pressure on their national governments to demand that the Myanmar military rescind the state of emergency, immediately release all political figures and activists, defend the Myanmar people's right to choose their leaders, and remove limits on freedom of expression, assembly and association.

Sharan Burrow, general secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation, says trade unions are appalled at the seizing of power by the military in Myanmar and will do all within our power to stop the coup succeeding.

"For the people of Myanmar, this is an extremely ominous time as the military attempt to rewrite the rules on the ground. The global trade union movement will fight to ensure the release of all those detained and bring an end to the violence and harassment of the people. The perpetrators of the coup must be isolated."

Click on the following link to read just-style's analysis of the potential repercussions of the recent coup, which potentially include tough American government sanctions against Myanmar, and a re-evaluation of the country as an apparel sourcing partner: Clothing sector likely major loser from Myanmar coup.