Myanmar Construction Ministry Sacks 181 Striking Staff

By The Irrawaddy 26 May 2021

The military regime has fired 181 striking Ministry of Construction staff, saying they were dismissed for absence without leave and failure to obey orders.

“Of the entire ministry, only 181 people have been dismissed. Many of those who previously joined the civil disobedience movement [CDM] have returned to work. The ministry has a much lower number of striking employees compared to other ministers,” said a striking junior engineer from the ministry who was dismissed.

“The number of striking employees is quite low in the Naypyitaw headquarters. Only less than 10 percent of the employees have joined the CDM,” he added.

Originally 184 staff were dismissed for joining the CDM but three have returned to work. Before the notices of dismissal were issued, some striking employees were contacted and persuaded by their superiors to return to the work, he said.

“Traditionally there is fear of the managers in the Construction Ministry. They have not joined the CDM. Sadly, more staff have not joined the CDM but striking employees have returned to work. They have been on strike for around three months but returned to work due to coercion from their superiors and because of financial hardship,” said another striking employee.

Those sacked range from junior clerks to a deputy director. Around 400 junior engineers and accountants who were working as daily wage earners to become permanent staff have been sacked.

“’Only one or two of those who were dismissed were deputy directors. The rest were junior staff. Daily wage earners were not dismissed with official dismissal notices but, as they joined the CDM, they haven’t returned to work. They were dismissed automatically,” said an employee.

“Daily wage earners are given permanent appointments after four years of service. Some have served four years and were about to be appointed permanently but were dismissed for joining the CDM. It is a loss for them,” he added.

Around 1,000 staff initially joined the CDM but many of them have returned to work with all five ministerial departments resuming normal operations.

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