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Date updated : 20-Nov-2018

Status: active

© 2019 IUF

Myanmar hotel workers are fighting for their rights!

In 2015, after a majority of workers at the Hotel Tharabar Gate in the heart of the country's famous Bagan Archeological Zone formed their union, management attempted to dismiss elected union chairman Ko Nay Myo Win. Hotel staff including non-union members protested, and management relented. The union then joined together with other local hotel unions (including the union at the Bagan Hotel River View) to form the area-wide union organization HLOB, which elected him chairman.

On August 24 this year, the Tharabar Gate management again terminated the union chairman, along with 11 other workers, including two members of the union executive and 7 active union members. The formal justification given for the dismissals was a downturn in occupancy. However, at a meeting with management the previous day, the union had declared itself willing to negotiate alternative work arrangements which would also safeguard employment. The management response was to target union officers and activists for dismissal, violating their rights and the rights of all union members, including the members of the HLOB who elected Nay Myo Win as their secretary.

Bolstered by Myanmar's weak legal framework for protecting rights, management continues to reject calls for reinstatement of the 12 unfairly dismissed workers, despite a vigorous series of public protests organized by the HLOB.

Use the form below to send a message to management of the Hotel Tharabar Gate, calling for reinstatement of the 12 unfairly dismissed workers; full recognition of the rights and role of the union chairperson and executive committee members; and good faith negotiations with the union. The managing director of the Tharabar Gate is an influential member of several Myanmar hospitality employer organizations. The message is therefore directed at them as well.

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To U Khin Aung Tun
Managing Director, The Hotel Tharabar Gate

Dear U Khin Aung Tun

I write to express my grave concern at the unfair dismissal of 12 workers at the Hotel Tharabar Gate on August 24, including 10 members of the IUF-affiliated tourism workers federation HLOB. Among the dismissed were union chairman U Nay Myo Win, and union executive members U Naing Win Nyunt and U Zay Yar. In a meeting with management prior to their dismissal, the union had indicated its full willingness to enter into good faith negotiations on work arrangements in response to the downturn in occupancy. Management, however, unilaterally rejected these proposals and instead proceeded to carry out discriminatory anti-union dismissals which target these workers' rights and those of the members who elected them. These actions are in clear violation of the government of Myanmar's international human rights commitments, and will undermine efforts to construct a sustainable, responsible tourism industry in Bagan and in your country. I therefore call on you to act to ensure that local management reinstates the employees who were terminated on August 24, fully recognizes and respects the role of the elected union officers and enters into good faith negotiations with the HLOB on the issues affecting the Hotel Tharabar Gate.

Yours sincerely

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