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In September 2015, the Myanmar government for the first time in history set a minimum wage at 3,600 MMK ($3 at that time of exchange rate) a day, lowest in ASEAN but slightly higher than Bangladesh. A year and a half after implementation, robust discussions continue between unions, worker representatives, businesses, and the government about the impacts and possible changes in the minimum wage level. On November 4th, CESD was invited by the Ministry of Labor, Population, and Immigration to arbitrate a workshop between worker representatives and government and policy-making figures seeking updates from workers, open a policy dialogue, and support future changes to the minimum wage.
The CESD has been very active at the thematic area for labour market reforms and has participated in several workshops, trainings and event over the last quarter (July – September 2017). Please find a short summary of the key activities on the CESD Labour Newsletter – Issue 1!
Titled “Myanmar Labour Issues from the Perspective of Enterprises: Findings from a CESD survey among food processing and garment manufacturing businesses”, CESD’s latest report intends to help bridge the information gap in Myanmar’s labour market, based on an extensive survey of garment manufacturing and food processing sectors.
CESD Labour Team Presented Findings from Enterprise Survey and Causes and Consequences of Migration to Key Stakeholders
On the 5th of October, CESD Labour Team went to Ministry of Industry (MoI) in the afternoon to present findings from Enterprise Survey conducted in June 2015. Director General Daw Aye Aye Win from Ministry of Industry attended the presentation with three of her fellows and entered discussion with CESD Labour Team after the presentation.
CESD Labour Team Organised Survey Methodology Training at Ministry of Labour, Immigration and Population
The Centre for Economic and Social Development (CESD) Labour Team, in collaboration with Ministry of Labour, Immigration and Population (MoLIP) and support from International Development Research Centre (IDRC-Canada), organised 4 days Survey Methodology Training at MoLIP, Nay Pyi Taw, from 4th to 7th October 2016.
CESD’s recent working paper on the implementation of Myanmar’s new minimum wage features in the ARTNeT August 2016 newsletter. ARTNeT is the Asia-Pacific Research and Training Network on Trade, a network of leading trade research institutions and think-tanks, with a community of more than 1,000 individual researchers from across the Asia-Pacific region. CESD has been an active member of ARTNeT since May 2016.
The CESD Labour Team presented research results on labour relations and regional economic integration of private enterprises to Masters of Public Administration (MPA) students at the Yangon University of Economics (Kamaryut Campus) in August 2016.
CESD’s Labor Market Reform Working Paper No. 1/2016 identifies three focus areas for policy makers to ensure an effective implementation of the recent minimum wage system, namely:
- ensuring that businesses comply with the new minimum wage law and government agencies enforce the law;
- monitoring and measuring the impacts of the minimum wage policy on different variables, including formal jobs, informal employment, wage levels, wage distribution, poverty, and social welfare;
- ongoing reviews and adjustments to the minimum wage system, to ensure it remains relevant and appropriate under changing economic and social conditions.
CESD’s Labor Team is providing training and capacity building to graduating students from the Yangon University of Economics as they prepare to undertake research on the socio-economic impacts of the minimum wage. A legal minimum wage was introduced in Myanmar in September 2015. It’s impact on employees and employers will be the focus of the research undertaken by the University of Economics students.