Yangon, 10 October

Military council’s use of the term “additional allowance” in increasing the wages of workers has caused confusion between employers and workers in calculating overtime pay, labor activists told Than Lwin Times.

The National Committee for Designating the Minimum Wage under the military council announced on October 5 that employees in junta-run departments and other organizations were allowed to enjoy an additional allowance of 1,000 kyats in addition to the current 4,800 kyats for eight hours a day.

In addition, workers in cut-make-pack (CMP) industries and factories will be allowed to enjoy an additional allowance of 1,000 kyats in addition to the minimum wage of 4,800 kyats for eight working hours starting October 1.

As the military council calls the salary increase an additional allowance, there are problems between the employer and the employee when paying overtime, and the workers do not receive the minimum wage as they requested but only receive an allowance of 1,000 kyats, said a labor acitivist.

He added that in the past, if the minimum wage rates were set, the employers, workers, and government used to have a tripartite discussion, but now the authorities do not want to meet the demands of the workers, so they give them under the title of subsidy.

A labor activist remarked, “There should not be any kind of bonus without announcing the official increase in wages, and the 1,000-kyat allowance will not cover the current price of goods.”

The military council should set the basic pay rates and allowances differently for daily wage earners so that there would be no disputes between workers and employers, said the sources who help workers’ affairs.

In Myanmar, the minimum wage law was enacted in 2013, the minimum wage rate was set at 4,800 kyats per day in May 2018, during the NLD government led by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.

The minimum wage is supposed to be adjusted every two years under the Minimum Wage Law, it hasn’t been adjusted until now due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the military coup, and the junta granted an allowance of 1,000 Kyats.

Even though the military council has granted the additional allowance of 1,000 kyats, the grassroots workers are suffering the effects of the exorbitant high prices.

The Solidarity of Trade Union Myanmar (STUM) has called for an increase in the minimum wage to 10,000 kyats a day for workers working in local factories on International Workers’ Day, which falls on May 1 last year.

News – Than Lwin Times

Photo: Social Media

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