Industrial zone’s chairman blames electricity, soaring dollar prices for labour protests

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Electricity failures in industrial zones and a hike in the exchange rates against the US dollars are the main reasons for labour protests, Hlaingthayar Industrial Zone chairman Myat Thin Aung said on Tuesday.

He made the comment at the anniversary meeting with entrepreneurs of Hlaingthayar Industrial Zone held at the industrial zone’s administrative office on Tuesday.

“The entrepreneurs have already raised [the salaries] to a certain extent, but the industrial zone workers have demanded to raise [the salaries] to another 20,000 kyats. Most of the entrepreneurs were unable to do that so the workers started their protests. The reason is because of electricity failure at industrial zones. Less production is made due to electricity failure. So, [the entrepreneurs] have to buy power generators. [The workers] should look at the entrepreneurs’ side as they have to deal with expanses from all sectors,” said Myint Thin Aung.

Factory workers are also affected by the recent hike in dollar exchange rate which has increased to over 11 per cent in one and a half month even though it is less than 2 per cent in other countries, he continued.

There has been lesser export during the summer so it has affected the bonus fees, living allowance, and salary increase, he added.

Workers from 80 factories have protested for salary increased in Hlaingthayar Industrial Zone between 2012 and 2013 and workers from over 15 factories are currently on strike in the industrial zone.

Myint Swe, chief minister of Yangon regional government, told the meeting that the government is making arrangements to provide industrial zones with 24 hour electricity by the end of May.

Source: EMG

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