Support the Myanmar workers putting their lives on the line

As the violence and the number of deaths in Myanmar increases, the international trade union movement is asking for funds to support workers

The people of Myanmar have been resisting the military coup from day one.

From the moment the coup broke, in February, workers, young people and ethnic groups took to the streets in a nationwide show of anger which, days later, formed into the Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM), Myanmar’s strongest ever civil society movement.

The country’s trade union movement also responded, by launching an on-going national strike. Protests and strikes are now a daily occurrence and the death toll of protesters killed by the military is growing.

Health workers were one of the first groups of workers to take strike action and they have been followed by every sector of the economy, with women on the frontline as much as men.

With the railways and buses no long running, the military can only travel in tanks; gas workers have turned off military controlled gas instillations; dock workers refuse to load cargo; civil servants, teachers, bank workers and garment and other factory workers’ have walked out.

But at least 150 people have been killed and many more injured and detained. And the curfew is making it harder for protesters to travel to hotspots.

The people of Myanmar are prepared to keep fighting, but with many earning just £70 a month during ordinary times, they desperately need our help.

The global trade union movement has launched a Myanmar International Strike Fund. UNISON has made a donation and is  appealing to all branches to consider supporting the fund and help keep the fight for democracy alive.

UNISON has also made a donation to our partner the Burma Campaign UK.

Having campaigned for years against the military junta, UNISON swiftly issued a statement. General secretary Christina McAnea also wrote to Dominic Rabb, the foreign secretary, echoing the protesters’ demands: for targeted sanctions against the military owned or controlled businesses; for the UK to work towards a global arms embargo; and to join the Rohingya genocide case currently being heard by the International Court of Justice.

Ms McAnea said today: “The UK Government and international community aren’t acting fast enough and so, in response to the global trade union movement’s newly launched Myanmar International Strike Fund for all striking workers, I am appealing to all branches to consider supporting the fund and help keep the fight for democracy alive.

“And do let your members know that every member can also lend their support by emailing EU governments and Dominic Rabb to tell them to do better.”

Please send any donations to:

Bank Name: BANQUE CLER

SWIFT Code: BCLRCHBB

IBAN number: CH41 0844 0246 6062 9019 0

Bank Account name: INTERNATIONALE DES TRAVAILLEURS DU BATIMENT ET DU BOIS / IBB

Bank Account Number: 2466062901906

Include the reference: CTUM support (do not mention Myanmar)

(If issues arise with any aspect of this, please email I.Relations@unison.co.uk for assistance.)

Please note that this bank account is in Geneva, Switzerland, and belongs to our partner the Building and Woodworker’s International, which is coordinating the global trade union movement’s response in Myanmar. The SWIFT Code is required for European bank transfers.