Saturday, January 16, 2010

Burmese workers in Jordan resume work after negotiation

Friday, 15 January 2010 22:44 Myint Maung

New Delhi (Mizzima) - After a nine-day cease work in the wake of a brawl inside the premises nearly 600 Burmese workers of the Century Miracle Ltd. Textile Company in Jordan’s Ar Ramtha resumed work on Thursday.

Nayef Obeidat, the Administrative Manager of the company, told Mizzima on Friday that the issue had been resolved and the Burmese women workers resumed work after the Burmese Ambassador to Israel visited and intervened.

“His Excellency, [Burmese Ambassador to Israel] visited Jordan and negotiated with the workers. He is with us now,” Obeidat said.

The brawl, which occurred on January 5 between a Burmese woman worker, Aye Myat Sandar, and a Bangladeshi co-worker, snowballed to a level where all the 580 Burmese women workers refused to work fearing renewed attacks.

“We now have an assurance from the company promising to protect us in accordance with Jordanian labour laws,” a Burmese worker told Mizzima.

On January 5, a Burmese woman worker and a Bangladeshi male worker had a fight, which later turned into a group brawl between the two nationalities, injuring nearly 20 Burmese workers.

The Burmese workers claimed that Sandar was physically assaulted first by the Bangladeshi co-worker, following which they were attacked in a group by other Bangladeshi workers. But Obeidat said eyewitnesses belonging to different nationalities said the Burmese woman had started the quarrel.

“Since it is between two workers belonging to different nationalities, the company is not concerned. We are not taking any action against the workers for ceasing work,” Obeidat said.

Those injured, however, were compensated by the Burmese labour agency, ‘Sisein Thit’, which sent a representative to Jordan to negotiate, Obeidat said.

The 580 Burmese women workers joined Century Miracles Ltd. in Jordan about a year ago through Sisein Thit, a labour agency in Rangoon.

“We get a monthly salary of USD 155 and it has been about a year now that we are working in the company,” the Burmese woman worker told Mizzima.