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Burmese workers strike over low pay

Over 1,500 workers from a factory in Rangoon, Burma, have stood up to the Burmese authorities and have gone on strike, demanding a pay rise.

The workers, including men and women, of the Taiyi shoe factory are now into their fourth day of strikes have requested an increase of the low wage that pays them a meagre $US0.70 for a 12 hour day. A few days ago, owners of the factory agreed to increase the hourly pay by 15 kyat which equals to $US0.01. The workers refused and continue to strike.

A source close to the factory and its workers said that they would refuse to work until they received 75 kyat ($US0.08) for one hours work. As the sirens sound at 7am for the workers to begin their day, they instead, sit outside and continue to strike. Four Burmese police vehicles have been stationed nearby and the roads are blocked to civilian vehicles.

The protests at the Taiyi shoe factory follow to successful strikes by some several hundred factory workers last month. The strikes held at the United World factory and Oscar factory were successful as their demands for better working conditions were met. Several strikes over one year ago were demanding a change to the change of union labour laws and recently Burmese authorities have announced that its Trade Union Act is to be redrafted.



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