Trade unions to push for increase of minimum wage

The Confederation of Trade Unions in Myanmar (CTUM) is bringing a proposal to raise the minimum wage from 4,800 kyats (USD 3.19) to 7,200 kyats per day (900 kyats per hour for an eight-hour work day) to the National Committee for the Minimum Wage.

In 2013, the Minimum Wage Law was adopted providing a legal framework for determining and implementing a minimum wage. In June 2015, after about two years of tripartite negotiations involving the Ministry of Labour as well as representatives of employers and employees, Myanmar’s first-ever minimum wage level was effectively established at 3,600 kyats a day. In May 2018, the legal minimum wage in Myanmar was raised to 4,800 kyats.

Myanmar had an inflation of around 8% in 2019 and one of the cheapest workforce in the region, lower than Lao, Cambodia and Vietnam, thus attracting numerous garment factories.

The garment sector has grown significantly since 2013 when the European Union granted goods from Myanmar preferential access to the EU market under the Everything But Arms tariff scheme. From USD 900 million in 2012
exports value reached USD 4 billion in the current fiscal year.
In its Industry Strategic Plan the Myanmar Garment Entrepreneurs Association aims to create 1 million jobs by 2024.

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