“The 300 Myanmar workers have had their labour rights violated by the employers. A Myanmar worker was accused of being involved in a fire at the factory and was fired. So, all the other Myanmar workers launched a strike, demanding for their rights to be upheld,” AAC member Ko Ye Min told The Myanmar Times.

He also said that the workers made 10 demands, including to be allowed to take six days of casual leave in a year – which is compulsory under Thai labour laws – and for salaries not to be cut when sick leave is taken.

Workers also demanded to be paid back K200 million which was deducted from their salaries by factory officials supposedly for an emergency fund for workers. They also demanded to be issued original work permits, instead of photocopies.

Another demand was for the factory to prepare first aid material at the premises, and for workers to be allowed to work after taking leave.

According to the AAC, workers complained that those who took sick leave were “punished” by being barred from coming back to work for a period of three days, during which time they were not paid.

Ko Ye Min said that the factory also used to ask workers to work overtime every Saturday without getting paid.

The Myanmar workers were also told to use brokers assigned by the factory to apply for their passports and work documents. These brokers, they claim, charged a higher interest than others.

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