Myanmar

Myanmar campaign to target brands

Activists in the UK labour movement are getting organised to provide solidarity to the workers of Myanmar who are on strike against the Tatmadaw military regime, which did away with elected government and democratic freedoms in a coup on 1 February this year. On 10 April, Momentum Internationalists (MI) and other Labour activists held a meeting with Khaing Zar Aung of the Confederation of Trade Unions of Myanmar (CTUM), Kyaw Ni of the All-Burma Federation of Trade Unions (ABFTU), and Htuu Lou Rae of the Anti-Junta Mass Movement (AJMM), as well as Andrew Tillett-Saks, an American labour...

Remember the class-war prisoners!

The noted international trade union leader Dan Gallin used to say that what the labour movement needed is a “May 2nd Movement”. In other words, after all the wonderful speeches made on May Day, we need to focus on what happens every other day of the year and how we put our ideas into practice. In that spirit, on Sunday May 2, LabourStart will host a major online event focussing on what we sometimes call “class war prisoners”. It’s an archaic term, a leftover from the 1920s, and had been used by — among others — groups with names like “International Red Aid” and “International Labor Defense”...

Support the strikers in Myanmar!

Solidarity asks all our readers to back the statement signed by John McDonnell MP, TSSA general secretary Manuel Cortes, ACDU president Yaseen Aslam, and others; to put motions of solidarity through their union branches (same link, above); and to promote the fundraiser organised by the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance and supported by Myanmar’s unions here.

Myanmar trade unionists at online solidarity meeting

On 10 April Momentum Internationalists and Young Labour Internationalists held a solidarity meeting with speakers from Myanmar’s labour movement, which is continuing to lead protests against the military coup in the face of massive repression. The same day as the meeting, the Burmese military killed over 80 people in Bago, north of Yangon, the largest massacre in a single area since it killed over 110 in the working-class Yangon suburb of Hlaing Tharyar on 14 March. A young protester in Bago described being locked down by volleys of gunfire for an entire day: “We were surrounded on all sides...

Myanmar's workers appeal for solidarity

On 3 April Myanmar’s Assistance Association for Political Prisoners said that the Burmese security forces have killed 550 people, including 46 children, since the 1 February military coup. In parts of the country inhabited mainly by the minority Karen people, the coup regime has begun carrying out airstrikes, killing dozens and displacing tens of thousands. Still, many thousands, including striking workers, continue to protest in the streets across Myanmar. Corporations with suppliers producing garments in Myanmar have refused to accede to workers’ demands for protection if they continue to...

Stand with Myanmar's workers

“One cannot overstate the heroism of the Myanmar union movement right now in the fight against the military dictatorship, nor the horror of the military’s ongoing crimes against humanity.” So wrote Andrew Tillett-Saks, a US union organiser working in Myanmar, on 19 March. (See Tillett-Saks' Twitter for regular English-language updates.) There is now a steady flow of killings by the regime. Current estimates in the international media, which Burmese activists say are too low, are around 250. 14 March saw almost a hundred killings, two thirds in the Yangon factory suburb of Hlaing Tharyar. The...

Myanmar: "We need international solidarity"

Khaing Zar Aung, President of the Industrial Workers Federation of Myanmar and a member of the executive of the Confederation of Trade Unions Myanmar, spoke to us about the situation there.

Malaysia deports 1086 to Myanmar

On 23 February, the Malaysian government deported 1,086 people back to Myanmar. This was against the orders of the Malaysian High Court, which ruled on the same day that the Myanmar nationals should be allowed to stay temporarily. There are millions of exploited migrants in Malaysia, and over a hundred thousand Burmese refugees. The government announced plans to deport 1,200 people, including children. 114 people are unaccounted for by the government as they were not handed over to the Myanmar navy. Despite the Malaysian government’s claims that they would not deport any Rohingya or official...

Burmese junta declares labour movement illegal

Since this article was written on 1 March the military has escalated its crackdown, killing and injuring dozens of protesters. More soon. See here for regular updates. In the last days of February Myanmar’s military regime killed at least 18 people and injured dozens more, using live bullets, stun grenades and tear gas against striking workers and protesters. On 26 February the regime’s spokesman read out a list of sixteen trade unions and working-class organisations, declaring them illegal and promising persecution if they and their members continue to mobilise against the coup. The...

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