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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.
Gracing an invitation extended by the Bago Regional Minister of Planning and Finance and Chair of the Regional Minimum Wage Committee, the Executive Director of the Centre for Economic and Social Development (CESD), Dr. Zaw Oo, along with a team of researchers participated in a Tripartite Workshop on Myanmar’s minimum wage held at Bago on 6th September 2017
Since the establishment of Myanmar’s minimum wage in September 2015 (at 3,600 kyat per 8-hour day), CESD has monitored the challenges facing the implementation of the minimum wage law, and the opportunities for more effective implementation. CESD is also undertaking a legal review of labour laws related to Myanmar’s minimum wage, including the Employment and Skill Development Law, 2013, and Social Security Law, 2012.
To support this review, CESD has been meeting with representatives from different levels of government, workers organizations and industrial zones to discuss the challenges facing labour law implementation.
CESD, in partnership with IDRC have produced a short documentary on the recent process to establish a minimum wage in Myanmar.
CESD’s Executive Director, Dr Zaw Oo, has been assisting discussions on the national minimum wage, notably the calls for a minimum wage for garment factory workers.
In support of efforts to improve labour market conditions across the country, CESD and Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC) launched their three-year labour research programme on 28 March 2015.