Apparel Brands Must End Intimidation of Workers Engaged in the CDM

Workers in the apparel industry in Myanmar must to be allowed to protest
WASHINGTON - March 11, 2021 - PRLog -- Today, 40 human and labor rights organizations published an open letter calling on the apparel brands sourcing from Myanmar to end the intimidation of workers engaged in peaceful pro-democracy protests as part of the Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM) (

Workers who participate in or show support for CDM protests are being intimidated, threatened, and laid off. Intimidation includes workplace discrimination, detracting salary from workers participate in the protests and threats of mass dismissals. Meanwhile, the military is shooting protesters and raiding worker dormitories at night.

"We are being shot in the streets during the day. Our homes are being raided at night. We have made these brands huge profits, the very least they should do right now is ensure we are not fired for wishing not to live under a military dictatorship. Their silence is appalling," stated Ma Moe Sandar Myint, Chairwoman of the Federation of General Workers of Myanmar (FGWM).

"We call on all international brands sourcing from Myanmar factories to both respect and comply with the call by the Industrial Workers Federation Myanmar and Federation of Garment Workers Myanmar," stated Simon Billenness, Executive Director of the International Campaign for the Rohingya.

High-profile global brands such as Adidas, Lidl, and Zara (Inditex) produce apparel in Myanmar factories, but none have issued a public statement demanding that no workers be dismissed for participating in the demonstrations. A recent investigation by Frontier, Danwatch, and Myanmar Now found evidence of discrimination against labor leaders and violations of basic labor standards at garment factories across Yangon supplying major apparel brands (

The 40 labor and human rights organizations state:

"We call on these brands to exhibit due diligence in instructing the owners and management of the factories to comply fully with the brands' standards for the rights of worker. These instructions must include a prohibition of any intimidation of workers who miss work due to participation in the CDM. Such instruction must be accompanied by a warning that the brands will terminate their contracts with factories that violate this requirement. We reserve our right to take all appropriate action in support of workers as they assert their rights both as workers and as citizens of Myanmar."

The letter can be read

Simon Billenness
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