Drivers Fired After Alleged Beating by Ne Win’s Grandsons Seek Compensation

By Nan Lwin Hnin Pwint 22 May 2018

YANGON — Two bus drivers who were fired and allegedly beaten by two grandsons of former military dictator Ne Win have filed a complaint with the Yangon regional labor dispute arbitration body seeking financial compensation for their dismissal.

U Aung Myat, who previously worked as a driver for Omni Focus YBS Co. owned by Kyaw Ne Win and Zwae Ne Win, was allegedly beaten by the brothers after the bus he was driving was involved in a minor accident with another one of their company’s vehicles driven by Ko Kyaw Min Tun on April 28. Ko Kyaw Min Tu also alleges that he was beaten and unfairly dismissed.

Police charged the brothers with assault under Article 202 of the criminal code. The brothers deny the claims and have opened their own case against U Aung Myat for careless driving. All three are due to appear in court on May 25.

The drivers seek payment of their remaining salaries for the month of April, compensation for unfair dismissal, plus 10,000 kyats each that was deducted from their salaries for not working on New Year’s Day, which is a public holiday in Myanmar.

“The township conciliation body said it would only order payment of the outstanding salary. So we appealed to the regional arbitration body on May 17. If their decision is not satisfactory, we will proceed to the Arbitration Council,” said labor activist U Maung Maung Han, who is assisting the two drivers.

According to Notification 84/2015 of the Ministry of Labor, Immigration and Population, employers are obliged to pay half a month’s salary upon dismissal to employees who have worked for at least six months.

The measure also requires that employers notify a worker one month in advance of pending dismissal. If they fail to do so, they are required to pay an additional one month’s salary.

Both drivers were sacked without notice.

According to U Maung Maung Han, U Kyaw Min Tun is entitled to 740,000 kyats compensation, while U Aung Myat, who had only been on the job for four months, is entitled to 590,000 kyats.

Omni Focus YBS said in a statement on May 15 that the two drivers refused to accept their salaries, and demanded other payments that the company has yet to negotiate. It said it was awaiting the decision of the regional arbitration body.

The drivers say they have yet to receive their remaining salaries. U Aung Myat claims he is still receiving treatment for chest injuries sustained in the beating. The company has also allegedly seized their driving licenses, leaving U Aung Myint unable to find work to support his family.

Translated from Burmese by Thet Ko Ko.