August 16, 2022
The first bipartite dialogue on the Myanmar apparel and footwear sector was held on 27 June, 2022. At this dialogue, both brands and labour groups clearly identified grievance mechanism as one of the priority issues for deeper discussion, reflected in its second placing in the Mentimeter poll, after wages.
This reflects the current challenges for workers to obtain remedy. Law enforcement is weak or absent. Workers are reluctant to raise grievances for fear of losing their jobs. Union-busting is common. Tripartite dialogue and dispute resolution mechanisms are not functioning. It is, therefore, more essential than ever that all international garment brands who source from Myanmar work with suppliers, workers and other stakeholders to strengthen the mechanisms for workers to raise grievances and obtain remedy, and monitor their effectiveness, taking action where necessary.
Some brands have experimented with online applications and hotlines to increase the channels for worker voice to be heard. However, the effectiveness of their initial roll-out needs to be evaluated. Furthermore, these are not a substitute for functioning social dialogue and remedy mechanisms, including the involvement of trade unions, and functioning Workplace Coordination Committees.
The bipartite dialogue envisages that certain topics will be the subject of more detailed bipartite discussion and that this will be prepared by separate brands, and union/labour organisations.
MCRB, SMART and EuroCham, therefore, propose a preparatory discussion amongst brands on grievance handling and remedy; and worker surveys to:
· align the understandings of brands, MCRB, SMART Myanmar concerning the issues, and recent examples of grievances and how they have been resolved
· collate and review what is currently being rolled out as hotlines, apps and through other mechanisms
· identify any questions for or messages to TUs/labour rights organisations
· identify potential opportunities to work on these issues at
This session is invitation only and please feel free to reach out to email@example.com , if you are interested to attend.