Update on the Myanmar Hotel Organising Project
Year one report and handover to IUF
The first year of the UnionAID’s joint project with the IUF organising hotel workers in Myanmar has just been completed. A team of two researchers gathered information on the conditions for workers in this rapidly expanding sector of Myanmar’s economy.
A key concern raised by the 163 workers interviewed was uncertainty about their monthly wages due to variations in the service charge payment they receive. Service charges (a 5%-10% charge on each hotel guest) often make up the bulk of worker’s pay but how they are calculated is opaque and the amount they receive each month can vary significantly. Threats by managers to reduce or remove service charge payments can be used as a source of leverage over workers in some hotels. Growth in casual work and unpaid extra work hours were also issues raised by workers.
Having played an important role in getting this project established in Myanmar UnionAID will now cease its funding for the project and the IUF will take full responsibility for the next stages. This includes labour rights training for workers and the identification of labour leaders for further training. The IUF intends to include Myanmar in its ethical tourism campaign promoting appropriate labour standards in South East Asia.