IWFM requests to the international trade unions to initiate dialogue with the brands on the current situation in Myanmar

February 15th, 2021  •  Author:   Industrial Workers’ Federation of Myanmar  •  3 minute read
Featured image
As you surely know, we are facing a complicate struggle to restore democracy in our country, Myanmar. The Confederation of Trade Unions Myanmar (CTUM) has taken the leadership in this struggle, actively organizing and participating with all our members in the demonstrations that are sweeping the nation. Our public sector unions are actively participating in the Civil Disobedience Movement and civil servants are refusing to work. Many Ministerial offices are therefore closed or mostly closed, despite the threats of the military, doctors and nurses have been arrested. We cooperate with other Myanmar trade unions and civil society organizations.
We are doing everything in our power as labor movement to overcome the military coup and restore democracy in our country, but we need your help in creating pressure toward the Military.
The Military junta has huge profitable investments in most of sectors of the Myanmar economy, and a strategically implemented pressure will surely have negative consequences for their interests. Many large western brands produce their goods using Myanmar suppliers; these brands make up a sizable portion of the Myanmar economy and their withdrawal would have a huge impact. While strong sanctions and boycotts against targeted military investments, will effectively damage interest of the military. We would like to ask your assistance to write and open a dialogue with American and European brands with significant presence in Myanmar. For the time being, we would like your assistance in demanding to all American and European brands with Myanmar suppliers to implement the following measures:
  1. To issue a public condemnation of the military coup in Myanmar.
  2. To issue a public statement that the military coup, if continued, will have a negative impact on future international investments and on the Myanmar economy and social development.
  3. To exercise due diligence to ensure there is no business or investment ties that are directly owned or associated with the military in the supply chain.
  4. When working with businesses and suppliers not tied to the military in Myanmar, ensure that their business activities and suppliers do not contribute to or aggravate human rights violations. And that no worker or union leaders should be punished for going on strike or joining the current demonstrations against the coup.
We would also ask that you contact your governments, as well as international organizations, to encourage them to publicly condemn the coup and to not recognize anyone acting on their behalf.
The situation is deteriorating rapidly, and what is needed may change along with developments on the ground. We will communicate to you immediately as things evolve. We cannot thank you enough for your solidarity. We believe this is the best of the global labor movement; standing united in the struggle for democracy.
Khaing Zar Aung