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Pocan, Levin, Schakowsky, & Colleagues Demand Justice for Burmese Workers

Apr 23, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, Reps. Mark Pocan (D-WI), Andy Levin (D-MI), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Gerald E. Connolly (D-VA), Bill Pascrell, Jr, (D-NJ), Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ), and James P. McGovern (D-MA), released the following statement in response to recent reports of increased violence against Burmese trade unions and workers by the Burmese military.

“We stand with the workers of Burma who, despite the immense danger they face, continue to strike—going without pay for more than two months—to force an end of military rule and forge a path towards democracy in their country as part of the Civil Disobedience Movement. Since declaring 16 trade unions and other labor rights organizations illegal in the wake of their coup, the Burmese military has issued arrest warrants for at least 45 union leaders and carried out raids on multiple union leaders’ homes and worker dorms. Just last week, soldiers raided the Solidarity Trade Union of Myanmar’s offices and arrested and disappeared Daw Myo Aye, the union’s director. At least 22 active union members have been killed by the Burmese military and police since the February 1 coup.

“We join Burma’s workers in their plea to multinational brands, including American companies, to respect workers’ rights to demonstrate and refrain from firing these workers fighting for their country. We urge the Biden administration to keep diplomatic and economic pressure on the military regime—including through the thoughtful and deliberate imposition of additional sanctions that will cut off military resources without harming the Burmese people or impeding the delivery of humanitarian aid.

“Finally, we commend all Burmese citizens who continue to fight for their democracy in the face of injustice and violent repression. We remain committed to doing everything we can to help the people of Burma see a full restoration of their democracy and a permanent end to military rule.”