I extend this message of greetings on the occasion of Workers’ Day. May the entire workers in Myanmar, all the workers worldwide, including Myanmar migrant workers, and the people enjoy fruitful results of their good deeds and their socio-economic lives.
All global countries celebrate Workers’ Day that falls on 1 May every year. Likewise, I send this message in honour of all the Myanmar workers who are the main force essential for developing the State economy in Myanmar.
In the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Myanmar encountered losses in socio-economic lives in all sectors affected by COVID-19. Amidst difficulties, crises and challenges, the government, on this opportune occasion, would like to explain the endeavours to serve the interests of its citizen workers and create the appropriate job opportunities.
Emphasizing the role of workers steadfastly, the government disbursed loans to businesspersons, who suspended their businesses for various reasons during the outbreak of COVID-19, in order to sustain their factories and industries and ensure the employment of the jobless workers.
The Social Security Board accepted registration of 36,670 insured workplaces and 1,248,354 insured employees and allotted K69,109.58 million for 1,410,194 cases of entitlement from the 2014-2015 financial year up to the end of February 2021. Moreover, the amount of K67,912.467 million, 40 per cent of entitlement as social security assistance, was disbursed to 1,583,533 insured workers from temporarily closed factories during the COVID-19 period when the combined teams inspected factories whether they conformed with health guidelines of the Ministry of Health and Sports.
The Ministry of Labour, Immigration and Population provides 40 per cent of the salaries as social security cash assistance to the workers from the factories, which were damaged by fire. Jobless workers from those factories are also appropriately re-employed.
The government holds negotiation with the Republic of the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry, relevant businesspersons and organizations in order to seek solutions for the resumption and continuous operation of factories and industries, including the labour-intensive garment industry.
Labour offices are being run across the nation for the people to grasp job opportunities. The government assigns mobile teams to go right down to the areas where the labour offices cannot be opened yet for seeking employment, cooperates with local employment agencies and holds the job fairs where employers and job seekers can negotiate for the job processes through one-stop service to cut time and money.
The government has managed to soonest repatriate Myanmar workers and Myanmar citizens back home. They are stranded in foreign countries for a long time in various difficulties due to the suspension of international flights during the COVID-19 period.
In so doing, a total of 1,086 Myanmar citizens being detained under punishments at detention centres in Malaysia for lack of identity, based on various reasons. And, 70 Myanmar citizens arriving in India were brought back home by the naval vessel of the Tatmadaw.
Similarly, a total of 12,416 Myanmar citizens missing chances to return home by facing difficulties were sent back home by relief flight, while 26,681 Myanmar citizens re-entered Myanmar through border crossings. The government gave a helping hand to those citizens to receive test and prevention of COVID-19 and return to their respective native areas on a smooth process. In addition, arrangements were made to secure employment for them in Myanmar and attend the skill courses for their respective professions.
The government drafted the forced labour elimination action plan (2019-2021) and established the national complaint machinery for forced labour to resolve the complaints.
As Myanmar labours were sent to foreign countries under the 1999 Overseas Employment Law via overseas employment licensed agencies, a total of 1,322,386 Myanmar labour have been sent from 1990 to February 2021. Labour attachés were assigned in the Republic of Korea, Thailand and Malaysia for helping Myanmar labour enjoy entitlements under the laws of respective countries, whereas Myanmar embassies in international countries give necessary protection for those Myanmar labours.
Meetings to raise awareness of labour affairs were held between employers and employer organizations as well as workers and labour organizations in the Union territory, regions and states with the aim of enabling the employers and employees to have knowledge about proper exercises of fair workplace relations system, leadership, supervisions, labour law and policies.
Tripartite cooperation among the government, employers, and employees focuses on labour affairs with the formation of 3,102 employer and employee organizations under the Labour Organization Law2011 according to the ILO Convention 87 for freedom of association and protection of the right to organize Myanmar ratified.
The State Administration Council is implementing the five-point roadmap and nine political, economic and social objectives after taking over the State’s power according to the Constitution (2008). COVID-19 pandemic affected businesses included in the five-point roadmap of the State Administration Council must be remedied in various ways as quickly as possible through cooperation and endeavours of the government, the strength of the labour forces, and all intellectual and intelligentsia people.
Moreover, it can vividly be seen that stabilizing the market economic system and creating the job opportunities to manufacture many products of the State in line with the objectives of the economic affairs are much expanded on the implementation of capable labour forces.
The government is striving for ensuring fair rights and protection without harming the interests of both employers and employees. As the competitiveness of the labour market will rise in accord with the free migration of skilled workers included in the roadmap of the ASEAN Economic Community being implemented in the ASEAN region, Myanmar labour need to compete with those at home and employees in the ASEAN region. As such, they have to make preparations to have skills in respective sectors if investments of foreign countries flow into Myanmar.
As now is an opportune time to make utmost efforts for the country’s development, all need to abide by the laws, rules and disciplines. That is why the tripartite endeavours of the government, the employers and the employees can soonest strengthen the State economy for the long term development of the State. Consequently, the production volume will increase while health, education and social sectors will meet improvement simultaneously. As such, employers and employees should understandably join hands with each other to strive for the emergence of a stable and peaceful environment.
That is why I’d like to sincerely urge the workers, which is the force playing a pivotal role in the economic development of the State, to fully cooperate with the government in its steadfast implementation so as to improve the socio-economic lives of the people and emerge a stable and peaceful environment.