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Myanmar minimum wage likely to be set at $2.86-$3.58


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Myanmar minimum wage likely to be set at $2.86-$3.58

Nan Su Hnin Htwe

Myanmar Eleven


The country's minimum wage will be declared by the end of this month, likely to be set in a range of Ks3,200-Ks4,000 per day or approximately US$2.86-$3.58.


"The minimum wage will be between Ks3,200 and Ks4,000 because it must not be lower than the Asean standard and must not exceed it," said Labour Minister Aye Myint after the meeting of the Union Committee for Minimum Wage on June 24.


A source said that various figures were proposed at the meeting. The lowest figure was Ks2,500. Most of the attendees voted for the Ks3,600 rate.


"There is one more step to go before we officially declare it. Even the agreed-upon amount was the result of intense discussions as it is now greater than the amount set by business owners. We still have to consider whether overtime wage, which were previously double the wage amount, should be set as 1.5 times the minimum wage. The amount we settled upon was the result of efforts to please all parties," said Permanent Secretary of Labour Myo Aung.


The most affected sector is likely garment factories. In February, workers at garment factories in Shwepyithar Industrial Zone staged protest. Earning less than Ks100,000 per month at present, they demanded an increase of Ks30,000 in line with the higher cost of living. A hike in civil servants' salaries took effect in April. Civil servants with the lowest pay of Ks75,000 a month will get Ks120,000. Those who receive the highest pay of Ks250,000 will get Ks500,000.


At a workshop hosted by the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry this week, the Myanmar Garment Manufacturers Association demanded more time.


The minister and deputy ministers for labour, employment and social security, a presidential adviser, worker representatives, employers, international observers and civil society organisations attended the two-day event.


Zar Ni Thway from the Agriculture and Farmers Federation of Myanmar said: "I proposed a fixed minimum wage of Ks4,000 or more. Workers are facing the skyrocketing prices of goods and rents. Ks3,000 for the garment workers is not enough. There will be discontent from some businesses if different rates are set."


A representative of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) suggested that the minimum wage should be set with simple, clear-cut methods to harmonise economic and social development and take into account families' cost of living.


Khaing Khaing New, a factory owner, said: "According to the nature of work, pay roll will differ. That is why it is impossible to offer the same amount. We need time. Fixing a forced minimum on us without negotiation may lead to problems. I am not making a threat but we need time to hold discussions. Our employers will work on this matter in cooperation with the employees."


A technical adviser for the ILO’s Freedom of Association Project in Yangon admitted that the issue could cause tension.


The results from the workshop will be submitted to a parliamentary committee which will release the proposed rate. There will be 60 days for further comments after which it will seek approval from the Union Parliament.


The process has lasted two years with employers threatening to shut down factories if an unreasonable rate is fixed.




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-- The Nation 2015-06-29

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I'm not saying this is good or bad or that people shouldn't be paid. However Mexico just raised its minimum wage to $4.80 per day. That's a ten hour day. Mexicans, if nothing else are hard workers and Mexico wants the jobs. Mexico is also Catholic with no peripheral Muslim issues.

Why would someone ship cotton to SE Asia, have it made into clothes, and ship it all back if labor is 4 or 5 times as much?

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I wonder how a minimum wage one third that of Thailand will impact foreign investment?

Do not get caught in the stampede of big business from the West you will be crushed. Big Business is really in their glory with $3 a day wages in Burma and under the TPP they could even be less in the signature countries. They can bully their workers and pollute as much as they want Utopia at last. So much for the Open for Business signs in the good ole USA. Gone fishing signs would work better. All the TPP will do is cut jobs and drive down wages in the West which is exactly big businesses goal. Dey will be the new masta in de future if there be one.

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I'm not saying this is good or bad or that people shouldn't be paid. However Mexico just raised its minimum wage to $4.80 per day. That's a ten hour day. Mexicans, if nothing else are hard workers and Mexico wants the jobs. Mexico is also Catholic with no peripheral Muslim issues.

Why would someone ship cotton to SE Asia, have it made into clothes, and ship it all back if labor is 4 or 5 times as much?

Thank you for the link to the Mexican minimum wage. The Texas company, (they owned Wagner Brake Products), that I worked for in 1993, owned a brake shoe (asbestos) manufacturing facility in Tijuana. I visited the plant that year. We were then paying $3.25 per day, with an increase to $5 a day after two years. We also provided the employees with shoes since they would come to work barefoot. I am ashamed to see that not much has changed.

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who earns 600 dollars a month in myanmar? maybe 1 out of 100. in the tourist industry they ask for and get the most money, tourist guides with perfect english are the top earners, far above medical doctors, or teachers. as stated above, civil servants (including teachers) start with around 100 dollar a months, the highest in the ranks get up to 500 dollars. a daily wage of 3,60 dollar would be an improvment for many, mainly in the garment factories. keep in mind, 50% of all myanmar people still have no access to electricity.

http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/EG.ELC.ACCS.ZS

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At today's exchange rate, 3.600 is equivalent to 109.77 Thai baht per hour.

They are talking 3,600 kyat per day not per hour.

Now you can see why so many Burmese work in Thailand because they can make many times per day what they can in Myanmar.

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What is the amount of wages where people are not just making a living but able to enjoy life too.

To have enough to be able to save, buy a home, send their kids to school, be able to access some medical care.

To have a life above just working, eating, sleeping, working.

A wage where life is not just slavery would help. The garment factories are sort of like industrial chicken farms, but they seem to be able to make more money there than farming otherwise who would do this work?

These garment workers also probably have only 1 day off a month. This is also needed to be thought about.

The interesting thing is that they still smile and have a good time. I live near some of the factories.

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What is the amount of wages where people are not just making a living but able to enjoy life too.

To have enough to be able to save, buy a home, send their kids to school, be able to access some medical care.

To have a life above just working, eating, sleeping, working.

A wage where life is not just slavery would help. The garment factories are sort of like industrial chicken farms, but they seem to be able to make more money there than farming otherwise who would do this work?

These garment workers also probably have only 1 day off a month. This is also needed to be thought about.

The interesting thing is that they still smile and have a good time. I live near some of the factories.

Do you live in Thailand or Myanmar? I live in Thailand and there are some Myanmar workers at the garment factory near my home.

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in economy, everything depends on supply and demand. if someone offers 6 dollars wage a day, instead of 4, and everything else is the same as his competitors, he will be broke in a few months, nobody will buy his things,and the factory will close, so what for?

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