Two years on from the military coup in Myanmar that has led to civil unrest within the country, IndustriAll has designed a framework on what a responsible exit looks like for garments brands wishing to exit.
The framework outlines a business exit negotiated with workers’ representatives that ensures the rights of workers are protected, adequate severance is paid to those affected and ensures that cases of workers’ rights violations that are still pending will be remediated.
However, IndustriAll states, the framework, which is called ‘Framework Principles of a Brand’s Responsible Business Disengagement from Myanmar’ is not a commitment by the brands that helped towards creating it to cease operations.
IndustriAll general secretary Atle Høie said: “We have been guided by the representatives of the affected workers, the union movement of Myanmar, to call on companies to cease their operations.
“This document defines a responsible exit. We call on all companies doing business in Myanmar – not just the garment industry – to use this framework to plan their exit from the country.”
A report commissioned by the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) in September last year concluded that due diligence and freedom of association were not possible in Myanmar, and that trade unions cannot function.
The rounds of discussions between IndustriAll and garment brands sourcing from Myanmar started last year in November.
Following this, a number of brands announced their intention to cease production in the country, however, last month it was claimed that workers’ rights had been “brutally repressed” in Myanmar, with little to no action from the brands who source from them.