PSA joins calls for democracy in Myanmar


PSA joins calls for democracy in Myanmar

The PSA took part in a Global Union Day of Action for Myanmar on September 15.

International unions came together to oppose the recognition of the military-led junta in Myanmar at the United Nations General Assembly.

In a letter to Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta, the PSA also called on the New Zealand government to oppose recognition of the junta at the UN and instead recognise the National Unity Government.

This shadow government is made up of the democratically elected MPs forced out by the coup and representatives from ethnic minority groups in Myanmar.

BRAVE CIVIL SERVANTS

Seven months on from the coup, brave civil servants are still striking in a desperate effort to return their country to democracy.

Hundreds of thousands of health care workers and public sector employees, walked off jobs in ministries, airports, rail stations, hospitals, schools and ports. 

Their prolonged strike action crippled the junta’s ability to gain control and severely undermined its claims for international recognition.

UnionAID logoUnionAID, the Aotearoa New Zealand union movement’s international development charity is supporting the striking workers through its trade union partners. Executive Officer Michael Naylor says the strike action comes at a huge cost to the workers. 

“Hundreds of civil servants have been arrested and tens of thousands dismissed from their jobs or kicked out of government housing.  Those still striking face real hardship having gone months without pay.”

UnionAID has launched an appeal which has raised $39,000 so far to support the workers, unions and provide medicines. You can contribute at: www.unionaid.org.nz/myanmar.

INTERNATIONAL UPDATES

SOLOMON ISLANDS

While spared an outbreak of Covid-19, workers in the Solomon Islands have nonetheless experienced a year of lockdowns, job losses and economic turmoil. 

A state of emergency in 2020 saw wide ranging lockdowns. Public sector and local government staff in non-essential services were required to take leave, reduced hours or pay cuts of up to 50%.

As restrictions lifted this year, the Workers Union of Solomon Islands faced a huge job, reconnecting with members in remote provinces of the island archipelago. 

With funding from UnionAID, organisers were able to travel by car and boat to reach over 1,600 members and respond to issues.  For local government staff this has included non-payment of agreed wage increases and refusal to recognise the union.

HONG KONG

The Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions, which represents 145,000 members, has announced it will disband amid growing concerns about a crackdown on opposition groups.

It comes after the imprisonment of the confederation’s co-founder Lee Cheuk Yan over his role in anti-government protests in 2019.

The International Trade Union Confederation has condemned his prosecution, which it says violates the rights of trade unions and the principle of freedom of association.

 

 

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