FTUB(Federation of Trade Unions Burma) Maung Maung fails at forming unions

FTUB’s (Federation of Trade Unions Burma) meeting to form new unions in six districts was unsuccessful. According to an attendee, the meeting failed because the representatives that were chosen to form new unions didn’t show up, even the FTUB Secretary, U Maung Maung, didn’t come when he learned no one was there.

Nineteen members did attend the meeting, which was held at the FTUB office in Hlinethaya Township in Yangon. Among those were, the Vice Chairman of FTUB U Than Lwin, the former Chairman of AFFM U Than Swe, and Master of Ceremonies U Tin Tun Aung.

FTUB has been working in exile for twenty years and receives funds from international donors such as the International Labor Organization (ILO), however, they have failed to set up any unions inside Myanmar. Many people won’t accept FTUB as a legitimate organization because it is not an official union.

According to some ex-FTUB members, the organization does not follow a true democratic system and their strict hierarchy has led to unbalanced internal decision making. They say that the leaders of FTUB use the funds they receive from international donors for their own personal use. This controversy has led to all members resigning, only the General Secretary and Vice Chairman are left. Recently, U Maung Maung made a visit to Yangon without consulting any members.

“U Maung Maung never told us he went to Yangon. And he’s never explained the financial situation to us, he’s even doing business with money that belongs to the organization,” one member said.

The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) will open their office in Yangon in 2013. FTUB, still led by U Maung Maung, is now trying to form unions to officially be a part of ITUC. Because FTUB has been unsuccessful in forming more unions he attempted to get unions that were affiliated with AFFM to leave and join FTUB.


Fight Corruption is most important Issue in Burma myanmar 


Burma: Agriculture and Farmer Federation of Myanmar AFFM releases public statement: We are an independent organization


Disunity is felt within the Agriculture and Farmer Federation of Myanmar (AFFM), however they announced last Monday, October 8th that they are an independent organization. “Actually, all federations are independent organizations. This statement was released because there is some disunity within our organization, which is the first time this has happened. We also wanted to clear up any possible misunderstandings, AFFM is an independent organization,” said AFFM’s secretary Ko Yay Aye.

The Federation of Trade Union-Burma (FTUB) helped AFFM to become internationally recognized. Despite this, AFFM will not become a member of FTUB because they don’t want to be under their control.

“It means AFFM is not under the control of any other organizations. We created it independently and we have registered it accordingly based on democratic government law. As an independent organization, we can connect directly with international organizations. We want to publicly announce this today,” said Ko Yay Aye.

AFFM is, however, a member of the International Union of Food (IUF). Becoming a member meant that they had to pay a membership fee but also means workers are taught technological skills and will have protection from labor related injuries (compensation and paid time off). AFFM is also required to be active in all IUF activities.

AFFM wants to become a countrywide federation and join the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC). If AFFM joins with ITUC they can work together with the government and international business owners.

AFFM was founded on the 26th of August 2011 by farmers and agricultural workers from Karen State, Pago Division, Yangon Division, Irrawaddy division, Magway Division, Mandalay Division and Kachin State. They plan to spread their federation to the rest of the states and divisions in the country.


International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) delegation visits Burma

ITUCITUC delegation, in its first ever visit to Burma, met with Trade Unions who had applied for registration, met with released FTUB members, NLD leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, Bago divsion NLD leader U Myat Hla and Ministry of Labor.

A delegation from the ITUC visited Burma on 12th to 16th of February 2012.  The delegation was headed by Mr. Stephen Benedict, Director of the Human and Trade Union Rights (HTUR) department and also included Mr. Jeffrey Vogt, Legal Advisor of the ITUC and the HTUR, and Mr. Patuan Samosir Senior Officer, Organizing and Projects ITUC Regional Organization for Asia-Pacific (ITUC-AP).

During the visits, the delegation met with the representatives from the Myanmar Industrial Trade Unions (MITU), the Agriculture and Farmers Federation of Myanmar (AFFM), the Journalist Press and Publication Workers’ Union (JPPWU) and the Textile and Garment and Leather Workers Union (Bago) and the Daikoo General and Transport Workers Union. They also met with FTUB leader Myo Aung Thant.

They also met with U Myat Hla a senior attorney and leader of the Bago region NLD. Also in the meeting were lawyers, farmers and youth. The discussion was on the legal interpretation on the recently passed Labor Organization Law and past and present functions and interpretations of the labor law in Burma/Myanmar.

On the 14th, they went to Shwe Pyi Thar Industrial Zone to observe Deputy Minister of Labor U Myint Thein talk to workers on the Labor Organization Law.

On the 15th the delegation went by plane  went to Naypyidaw and met with the Ministry of Labor headed by the Director General and discussed on the Labor Organization Law, the Prison Code and the Labor Organization Rules .

Returning by car, on the morning of the 16th  Stephen Benedict and Jeffery Vogt  met with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi at the NLD HQ briefly, presented support for the NLD and a letter from the Sister Sharan Burrow, the General Secretary of the ITUC.

After that the delegation also went to Hlaing Tharyar Industrial Zone to observe the work places.

The delegation left Burma / Mynamar on 16th evening.