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Using global framework agreements in the Myanmar garment industry

Participants, which included local union presidents and organizers, came from IndustriALL Global Union affiliate, the Industrial Workers Federation of Myanmar (IWFM). More than 60 per cent of participants were young trade unionists.

The workshop included a presentation on GFA brands in the textile and garment sector and the importance of signing an agreement with multinational companies as a means to build better industrial relations. There was also a deep analysis of the GFA with global fashion brand H&M.

Participants discussed how they could use global framework agreements for organizing and how to apply brands’ leverage for workers’ rights under any union rights violations. The participants continued with mapping of multinational companies in the textileand garment sectors, and looked at ways of overcoming the difficulties of organizing a new workplace. 

Annie Adviento, South East AsiaRegional Secretary IndustriALL Global Union:

Our work is to ensure that under GFAS workers’ rights are respected in the supply chain at all global operations of multinational companies. We should raise our consciousness on GFA brands to build better working conditions at our factories.”  

H&M brand representatives Hlwan Moe Kyaw, Sustainability Developer, and Felix Ockborn, Sustainability Manager, attended the workshop to give a presentation on GFA implementation and brands’ commitments and responsibilities under a GFA. They were met with huge attention and many questions from participants. 

Trade unionists raised questions on gender discrimination, outsourcing of some jobs, the differences on rights in an agreement and in reality, violations against unionization, fair wages and fair treatment under a GFA. 

Andrea Schill from the GermanDevelopment Cooperation Agency (GIZ) gave a presentation on their programme in the region with fashion brand, Tchibo. While, Daw Eaindara Kyi Tin, an attorneyfrom Myanmar, gave a talk on workers’ rights violations in Myanmar, legal rights and implementation. 

Participants closed the workshop with new organizing plans under GFAs and future mapping ideas.


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