Free all jailed trade unionists in Myanmar!
The Building and Wood Workers' International (BWI) is immensely vocal in its condemnation of the military junta's atrocities against trade unionists in Myanmar. In a desperate effort to hold onto power and crush the democratic resistance, the military junta has been systematically persecuting Myanmar's broad trade union movement, regarded as the tip of the spear in the country's fight to restore democracy.
The high crimes committed by the military junta against trade unionists in Myanmar have been comprehensively documented by BWI’s affiliates in the country. Since the February 2021 coup d'état, the military junta has killed seven (7) labour unionists, six of whom were burned alive while one was shot. Presently, one hundred eighteen (118) trade unionists are suffering in various prisons in the country, 30 of whom are women trade union leaders. The arrests of the Confederation of Trade Unions Myanmar’s (CTUM) central committee leaders (Nay Min Tun, Aye Chan Aung, Zu Zu Ra Khine, Yamin Kay Thwe Khine and Yhan Zaw), the cancellation of their passports, and even the revocation of citizenship of its president are on the military junta's growing list of atrocities committed against workers and trade unionists.
Young labour leaders were also targeted by the military junta’s terror campaign. On 13 September 2022, young people, some of whom are affiliated with the Building and Wood Worker's Federation of Myanmar (BWFM) were arrested and imprisoned after organising a peaceful and non-violent protest in the Tae Mi Tai Township of the Yangon region. Last 29 March 2023, the said youngsters were sentenced to three (3) years in prison.
BWI reiterates its demand for the immediate and unconditional release of all political prisoners in Myanmar, including trade unionists who were unjustly detained for legitimately defending their rights and their country’s democracy. We demand that the UN and all other pertinent international organisations take decisive action in this situation and prosecute all those accountable for the atrocities committed against Myanmar's trade unionists. BWI and the international labour movement will not rest until the military junta's tyrannical rule over Myanmar's working class is totally defeated, and democracy is fully reestablished.