Garment factories closing due to shortage of raw materials need to be scrutinized: CTUM

Employees work at the production line of a large garment factory in Yangon. Photo: Phoe Khwar
Employees work at the production line of a large garment factory in Yangon. Photo: Phoe Khwar

Garment factories that have closed down citing lack of raw materials because of COVID-19 need to be scrutinized to check whether they are really short of raw material supply, said U Maung Maung, chairman of the Confederation of Trade Unions of Myanmar (CTUM).
Although a total of 13 factories informed the Ministry of Labour, Immigration and Population that they will temporarily suspend production, only one factory has informed the Yangon Region Investment Committee.
“Although all factories said that they are closing due to lack of raw materials, only one factory has asked the Yangon Region Investment Committee to revoke their company license. So, we need to know whether the factories have closed merely to move to other places and open again with new names or not. We need to be au courant in this respect. So, we need to scrutinize the reason for suspension. The most important thing is to check if the factories have closed due to COVID-19, and whether they have really been closed,” said U Maung Maung.
Moreover, factories closing due to lack of raw materials need to be transparent in their actions and they ought to be responsible and accountable, said U Aye Win, secretary-general of the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI).
“We cannot allow factories to just close for underlying reasons rather than lack of supply of raw materials,” he added.
More than 5,000 workers have become unemployed within two weeks because of factories closing due to lack of raw materials, according to the CTUM.
“In order to continue operations at CMP factories, working hours are being reduced and overtime has been stopped. If these measures do not prove effective, factories must suspend operations temporarily,” said Daw Khine Khine Nwe, Joint Secretary-General of the UMFCCI.
“Entrepreneurs are starting to reduce working hours because they are worried about the lack of supply of raw materials. Workers in most factories have started working eight hours per day. Some factories are closing work after only half a day on Saturdays and some are closing on Saturdays and public holidays. Some factories have already been closed for a temporary period because they could not continue to run due to lack of supply of raw materials,” she added.—Nyein Nyein (Translated by Hay Mar)

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