More garment workers face unemployment in Myanmar

Myanmar’s garment industry union leaders fear another 200,000 garment workers in the country could lose their jobs by the end of the year due to factory closures caused by both the political crisis and the Covid-19 pandemic, local media reported.

Nay Lin Aung, assistant secretary of the Myanmar Federation of Trade Unions, said around 200,000 garment workers out of a total of 700,000 were already unemployed and that the number could double.

Various global brands, the latest being Danish retailer Bestseller, have begun withdrawing from Myanmar after Denmark-based inter-sectoral global union IndustriALL urged foreign companies to divest from the country because of the worsening political and medical situation. Others have stopped ordering from the country, including Sweden’s H&M, Italy’s Benetton Group, UK’s Next and Irish fashion retailer Primark.

Coup, Covid-19 take a big toll

The Covid-19 pandemic paired with the unrelenting crackdowns by the military on anti-coup protests and the imposition of martial law in Yangon’s industrial suburbs have taken a big toll, as many workers who were fearing for their safety returned to their hometowns.

Even those who have opted to stay behind rather than face unemployment are struggling because most factories are operating at low capacity.

The garment industry used to be a strong  pillar of Myanmar’s economy since the country opened to the world a decade ago. Textile manufacturing has grown further since the removal of international sanctions in 2016.

Garment industry contributed a third to exports

According to the European Chamber of Commerce in Myanmar, garments accounted for almost a third of exports in the past years at a value of around $5 billion annually. Although the majority of shipments are ending up in Asian countries like China, Japan or South Korea, more and more Western countries have become important markets as companies like H&M, Inditex – which owns Zara –, Primark and Bestseller started sourcing from factories in Myanmar.

But his development is now clearly at a turning point, with hardly any industry in Myanmar having gone untouched by the upheaval triggered by the military takeover in February this year. A coup that still doesn’t make much sense for both observers and the people affected, and probably not even for the generals anymore.



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Myanmar’s garment industry union leaders fear another 200,000 garment workers in the country could lose their jobs by the end of the year due to factory closures caused by both the political crisis and the Covid-19 pandemic, local media reported. Nay Lin Aung, assistant secretary of the Myanmar Federation of Trade Unions, said around 200,000 garment workers out of a total of 700,000 were already unemployed and that the number could double. Various global brands, the latest being Danish retailer Bestseller, have begun withdrawing from Myanmar after Denmark-based inter-sectoral global union IndustriALL urged foreign companies to divest from the country...

Myanmar’s garment industry union leaders fear another 200,000 garment workers in the country could lose their jobs by the end of the year due to factory closures caused by both the political crisis and the Covid-19 pandemic, local media reported.

Nay Lin Aung, assistant secretary of the Myanmar Federation of Trade Unions, said around 200,000 garment workers out of a total of 700,000 were already unemployed and that the number could double.

Various global brands, the latest being Danish retailer Bestseller, have begun withdrawing from Myanmar after Denmark-based inter-sectoral global union IndustriALL urged foreign companies to divest from the country because of the worsening political and medical situation. Others have stopped ordering from the country, including Sweden’s H&M, Italy’s Benetton Group, UK’s Next and Irish fashion retailer Primark.

Coup, Covid-19 take a big toll

The Covid-19 pandemic paired with the unrelenting crackdowns by the military on anti-coup protests and the imposition of martial law in Yangon’s industrial suburbs have taken a big toll, as many workers who were fearing for their safety returned to their hometowns.

Even those who have opted to stay behind rather than face unemployment are struggling because most factories are operating at low capacity.

The garment industry used to be a strong  pillar of Myanmar’s economy since the country opened to the world a decade ago. Textile manufacturing has grown further since the removal of international sanctions in 2016.

Garment industry contributed a third to exports

According to the European Chamber of Commerce in Myanmar, garments accounted for almost a third of exports in the past years at a value of around $5 billion annually. Although the majority of shipments are ending up in Asian countries like China, Japan or South Korea, more and more Western countries have become important markets as companies like H&M, Inditex – which owns Zara –, Primark and Bestseller started sourcing from factories in Myanmar.

But his development is now clearly at a turning point, with hardly any industry in Myanmar having gone untouched by the upheaval triggered by the military takeover in February this year. A coup that still doesn’t make much sense for both observers and the people affected, and probably not even for the generals anymore.



Support ASEAN news

Investvine has been a consistent voice in ASEAN news for more than a decade. From breaking news to exclusive interviews with key ASEAN leaders, we have brought you factual and engaging reports – the stories that matter, free of charge.

Like many news organisations, we are striving to survive in an age of reduced advertising and biased journalism. Our mission is to rise above today’s challenges and chart tomorrow’s world with clear, dependable reporting.

Support us now with a donation of your choosing. Your contribution will help us shine a light on important ASEAN stories, reach more people and lift the manifold voices of this dynamic, influential region.

$
Personal Info

Donation Total: $10.00

 

 

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