Unions allowed


President Thein Sein has signed a new law which will allow unions and strikes in Myanmar. The new law supersedes the 1962 Trade Unions Act which effectively banned trade unions.

The new law will allow for unions with a minimum of 30 people who are registered with a new national registrar. Workers will be able to go on strike provided they give notice to their employers of three days in the private sector and 14 days in public utilities. Workers in essential services are not allowed to strike.

Employers will not be permitted to dismiss workers for going on strike.

In what appears to be a thawing of the military control on the government, around two hundred political prisoners were freed this week. Earlier this month the president suspended the construction of the $3.6 billion Myitsone dam on the Irrawaddy which was being built by the Chinese to supply electricity to China. The president cited that the dam was against the will of the people.

Meanwhile, India has said that it is prepared to loan Myanmar $500 million to improve their infrastructure.

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