BWI supports the Burmese trade unions’ extended general strike

(Photo: Irrawaddy)

BWI expresses its full support for the extended nationwide work stoppage launched on 8 March by Myanmar’s different trade unions and the broad Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM) to defend democracy from the military junta. We stand in solidarity with the Burmese workers who, despite the military junta’s use of lethal violence, remained defiant in the face of state tyranny. 

We also pay tribute to the countless Burmese women, whose bravery, heroism and martyrdom put to shame the military junta’s cowardly power grab and violent attacks on peaceful protesters. As we mark this year’s International Women’s Month, BWI lauds the Burmese women who gave birth to the iconic “sarong protests” and honour those who have lost their lives in the struggle, and support those who continue fighting. Their sacrifices will not be in vain. Their courage continues to inspire women trade unionists worldwide who believe that the struggle for democracy is a struggle for gender equality.   

BWI, together with our sister global unions, pledge to continue to organise and mobilise international working-class support for the Burmese people’s struggle for democracy. The struggle for democracy is central to the protection and advancement of workers’ rights and the building of a just and better world. The freedom of association and the right to organise and bargain collectively can only be guaranteed under a democracy.

Without democracy, there is no trade unionism. Democracy is the product of the working people’s struggle. It is not a gift by autocrats and oppressors. As such, Whenever or wherever there is tyranny, there is trade union solidarity.