Mining company favours non-locals
By Htet Htet | MANDALAY
Although Myanmar Wanbao Mining company has promised to provide employment for residents of Let-Pa-Daung region, these positions are mostly blue-collar jobs.
A Let-Pa-Daung investigation led by Aung San Su Kyi directed Wanbao Mining to provide employment for resident people through its mining project and to help residents to establish small and medium-sized businesses, but Wanbao has not followed the report’s direction.
“Myanmar Wanbao and its sub-contract company (a branch company known as 15 MCC) only employ people aged between 15 and 40; they don’t accept older people into their workforce,” Tin Ko, a worker at 15 MCC, said.
“They also don’t follow the labor law (regarding overtime payments).
“There are three shifts of eight hours per day in this company.
“When there is a lot of work to do I have to take two shifts yet the company never pays overtime.
“For one shift I receive 10,000 mm kyat ($7.50).
“If I have to work the next shift as well that should be overtime and I should receive double pay, but they only give another 10,000 mm kyat,” Tin Ko said.
Aung Gyi, from Tone village now works as a labourer at Wanbao.
Aung Gyi said the company took residents’ land and in return paid “very little compensation money”.
“Now there is no land – and no land means no work for old people or for young people under 14 years of age in this region.
“Some old people are going to Monywa, the capital city of Sagaing Division, to work but the income is low and they have to cover the cost of taking the ferry.”
Ma Sandar, also from Tone, said Wanbao made “just for-show offers” to resident labourers.
“The company has set up some training courses, like computing, machine sewing and workshop, but it doesn’t provide good trainers or access for resident people.
“Wanbao should employ people who attend these training courses based on merit but they hire residents only for blue-collar jobs in the mining project.
“The white-collar jobs are mostly for Chinese workers.
“The income of resident workers is very low.
“A male worker’s income is generally 6000 kyat ($4.40) per day and for women it’s just 4000 kyat ($3) per day.”
Author: Htet Htet, APHEDA’s Labour Rights Reporter in Myanmar, April 2017
Editor: Roselea Ryan, MEAA member and APHEDA supporter
Wanbao Mining Company (operators of Letpadaung Copper Mine)
The Letpadaung Copper Mine has been the focus of a recent Amnesty International report highlighting human rights abuses. More…