MoLIP holds weekly meeting with labour reps

Union Minister for Labour, Immigration and Population U Thein Swe presided over a coordination meeting with labour organization representatives on opening factories during COVID-19 and the continued distribution of cash to workers and employees eligible for social security via videoconferencing yesterday.
Labour representatives discussed the spread of COVID-19 in reopening factories, workers facing difficulties to re-enter Yangon Region after going back home when the factories closed, the excessive overtime working hours, swiftly reopening factories in Ayeyawady Region in line with directives from the health ministry, compiling a list of workers who do not have social security, contacting authorities of discoveries of COVID-positive persons in factories, workplace safety and health awareness training, and reopening technical training schools for workers.
The Union Minister replied that suspected COVID cases can be alerted to the local departments of general administration, health, and factories and general labour laws inspection. He said they will notify the National-Level Central Committee on Prevention, Control and Treatment of COVID-19 about workers who want to return to Yangon at a suitable time.
The committee has been trying to prevent unnecessary restrictions while working in line with international standards, said the Union Minister. He requested workers to be understanding of their endeavour to revitalize businesses and urged more awareness raising activities to prevent unnecessary protests during the pandemic. He said they will negotiate with relevant authorities to reopen factories in Ayeyawady Region in line with health department requirements.
The Director-General of the Social Security Board said there are 3,440 departments that have filed for social security financial support. As of 21 October, K16,417.747 million has been approved for 244,670 eligible workers from 1,765 departments, he said and added that K12,019,906.8 has also been approved for 177 workers from departments in 11 townships of Mon State, Bago Region, Ayeyawady Region and Madnalay Region who are all under stay-at-home orders.
The meeting explained that since 12 October, authorities have formed the 4 online Viber groups for tele consultation team to prevent regular patients and insured workers with chronic diseases do not contract COVID at the labour hospitals (Yangon, Htantabin) with local doctors and physicians from relevant regions. There are arrangements to deliver medicine to homes or designate a collection point for insured workers in remote regions.
There are 2,361 insured workers who have received health certificates among the quarantined. K45.395 million has been approved for 499 insured workers withdrawing 60 per cent in sick benefits and K501.085 million for 3,395 pregnant mothers doing the same.
The Director of the Department of Factories and General Labour Laws Inspection said 20 hours of overtime per week can be enforced with their permission but urged reporting working hours enforced over that limit.
Deputy Minister U Myint Kyaing said they are planning to distribute hand sanitizers and masks for workers and employers to vote at the upcoming 8 November elections.
The Union Minister concluded the meeting by saying these weekly meetings with labour representatives are helpful for resolving worker’s issues and for everyone to follow COVID-prevention health guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health and Sports. –MNA (Translated by Zaw Htet Oo)

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