Garment factory to be auctioned after owner disappears

A Taiwanese-owned garment factory of dubious legal standing has gone dark after the owner ran away in the midst of financial trouble, according to Yangon labour officials.

Patrick Yan, owner of the UniPolar factory in Hlaing Tharyar township, was reported to local authorities by his employees who said he had failed to pay overdue wages before disappearing.

“The factory owner didn’t pay salaries for the month of May and then went back home. So we had to seal off his factory according to the law,” U Kyaw Kyaw Tun, head of the Yangon Region factories and labour laws department, said on June 14.

“Now we are planning to put it up for auction in order to pay the outstanding salaries and compensate the workers,” he said.

A warrant was also issued, calling on the owner to account for the dispute. According to the township department, the factory may not have been officially registered or licenced.

The UniPolar factory, which has been in operation since 2014, was rented from another businessperson, according to township records.

“The factory owner ran away, but he still owes a debt of K36 million for renting the factory,” said U Chit Paw, head of the township department of factories and labour laws. He added that the factory did not display any sort of registration or certificate.

UniPolar had initially been hit with a dispute when wages from April were not forthcoming on payday. The workers reported Mr Yan, and wages were paid on May 9.

U Myint Soe, chair of the Myanmar Garment Manufacturers Association said UniPolar was not a member of the industry body. He added that the lack of strong registration records indicate a weakness in the garment sector.

“The factories need to cooperate with labour committees, labour departments and the MGMA,” he said.

U Chit Paw said that the factory will be auctioned on June 29 to make up the unpaid salary and compensate the 178 workers.


Source: Myanmar Times

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