Myanmar last week published its first Code of Conduct

Myanmar last week published its first Code of Conduct

Around 2,000 workers from five garment factories in Yangon took part in strike action earlier this week in a call for salary increases and better working conditions.

The strike on Monday (9 February), which involved a march along the streets of the Shwepyithar township, was organised by one labour activist, just-style understands. The factories involved are: The Red Stone, Costec, E-Land, Ford Glory, and Han Jen Textile.

Workers are calling for salaries to be adjusted on a par with rates in other ASEAN countries, a reasonable minimum wage, and to be allowed to form unions.

At least one factory has agreed to partially meet the demands for increased pay, but all five factories are insisting they must close if they were to meet the full demands, a source told just-style. Talks between the striking workers and factory owners are ongoing.

Last week, the Myanmar Garment Manufacturers Association (MGMA) published the country's first ever Code of Conduct, in a move that aims to set out responsible and ethical business practices for its burgeoning apparel industry.

It is designed as a benchmark for responsible business practices in Myanmar’s rapidly growing garment sector. Elements include compliance with national laws and regulations; labour rights and working conditions; and wages and benefits, amongst others.