Junta seeks to exploit wages of Myanmar workers abroad


Nay Pyi Taw, 15 September

Myanmar’ Ministry of Labor under junta regime announced that 25 percent of the wages sent by overseas workers to their families must be transferred from junta-controlled official banks.

According to the Ministry of Labor, those working overseas must transfer 25% of their earnings once a month or every three months.

According to the statement, the contract between the recruitment agency and the workers must include this point and open a specific account at local banks.

U Aung Kyaw, an adviser to the Migrant Workers’ Rights Network (MWRN) based in Thailand, told the Than Lwin Times that “Myanmar workers abroad receive money at the exchange rate of the open market when they transfer money to their families, so they do not agree with the military council’s directive.”

The NUG’s Ministry of Labor said that the move of the military council was mainly aimed at oppressing the workers, forcibly exploiting their wages, and using them to purchase weapons and ammunition needed to crack down on dissenters and jet fuel to bomb villages.

The military council has threatened that those who do not remit 25 percent of their wages through approved banks will be banned from working abroad for three years and will be prosecuted under the law.

A migrant worker told Than Lwin Times, “There is no idea of transferring 25 percent of the wages to the military council. If we don’t transfer 25 percent of the income, we will be banned from working overseas for three years, so can we go back now? We have no intention of returning to our homeland until the revolution is over.

The junta-controlled Central Bank has announced that citizens working abroad can legally transfer their income through Authorized Dealer (AD) banks and utilize them as they wish.

The Revenue Department said that the money transferred from abroad to the country will be exempted from tax if it is used for the purchase of vehicles and basic equipment, construction, or investment.

The Central Bank of the Military Council has set the exchange rate for USD at 2,100 Myanmar kyats, while one dollar is currently worth around 3,500 Myanmar kyats in the open market.

The Ministry of Labor of the National Unity Government (NUG) announced on September 8 that it will take effective and severe action against any agency or individual that cuts the wages of expatriate workers or otherwise pressures them to transfer money.

 News – Than Lwin Times



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