23 October 2020
Union Minister for Labour, Immigration and Population U Thein Swe presided over a coordination meeting with labour organization representatives on opening factories during COVID-19 and the continued distribution of cash to workers and employees eligible for social security via videoconferencing on Thursday.
Labour representatives discussed the spread of COVID-19 in reopening factories, workers facing difficulties to re-enter Yangon Region after going back home when the factories closed, the excessive overtime working hours, swiftly reopening factories in Ayeyawady Region in line with directives from the health ministry, compiling a list of workers who do not have social security, contacting authorities of discoveries of COVID-positive persons in factories, workplace safety and health awareness training, and reopening technical training schools for workers.
The Union Minister replied that suspected COVID cases can be alerted to the local departments of general administration, health, and factories and general labour laws inspection.
He said they will notify the National-Level Central Committee on Prevention, Control and Treatment of COVID-19 about workers who want to return to Yangon at a suitable time. The committee has been trying to prevent unnecessary restrictions while working in line with international standards.
He requested workers to be understanding of their endeavour to revitalize businesses and urged more awareness raising activities to prevent unnecessary protests during the pandemic.
He said they will negotiate with relevant authorities to reopen factories in Ayeyawady Region in line with health department requirements.
The Director-General of the Social Security Board said there are 3,440 departments that have filed for social security financial support. Deputy Minister U Myint Kyaing said they are planning to distribute hand sanitizers and masks for workers and employers to vote at the upcoming 8 November elections.
The Union Minister concluded the meeting by saying these weekly meetings with labour representatives is helpful for resolving worker’s issues and for everyone to follow COVID-prevention health guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health and Sports.
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