Striking Healthcare Workers Threatened by Myanmar Junta Officials
By The Irrawaddy 26 March 2021
Striking healthcare workers in Ayeyarwady Region’s Ngapudaw Township who are participating in the civil disobedience movement (CDM) are being pressured to return to work by their managers and the township general administration department.
“[Managers] hand in glove with the township general administrative department have made threats. They called us on the phone and said we would suffer from unpleasant consequences if we don’t return to work within the week,” said one striking healthcare worker.
The workers were told that if they don’t return to work, they would be suspended from their positions, would no longer be included on the payroll and would have to pay back government loans by the end of this month.
Thousands of civil servants across Myanmar are taking part in the CDM in protest at the military’s Feb.1 coup
The striking health staff in Ngapudaw Township said they support only the democratically-elected government and will continue to participate in the CDM until it succeeds.
“We will continue the CDM. We are participating in the CDM because we don’t like military rule and we will only accept the elected government that the majority of the people voted for,” said a striking doctor.
Nearly 200 health workers in Ngapudaw Township are on strike, around 61 percent of the total workforce of the Health Ministry in the township.
The Committee Representing the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH), a body that represents the elected parliamentarians of the National League for Democracy, said on March 16 that it would prosecute officials who oppress, threaten or impose unfair punishments on striking civil servants.
The CPRH also pledged to compensate and reward striking government employees. It set a March 31 deadline for civil servants to join the CDM, warning that action would be taken against those who do not join the strike.
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