On June 16, 2023, the 28th IUF Congress in Geneva adopted a vital Resolution No.1 on Restoring democracy and defending human rights in Myanmar. The resolution was proposed by Food Rengo, UA ZENSEN, Service Tourism Rengo, Noh-Dan-Roh and UFCW North America.
Brother Hiromu Kogure, Vice President of UA ZENSEN, moved the resolution with the following speech, calling for greater action to ensure transnational companies cease their operations and divest from Myanmar. This is vital to ending all direct or indirect collaboration with the military junta and ensuring the restoration of democracy and democratic rights in Myanmar.
Continued support for Myanmar and pressure on transnational companies to “responsibly withdraw” from Myanmar!
Two years have passed since the military coup in Myanmar. The situation shows no signs of getting any better, with innocent civilians, democracy activists, and union activists being killed, their homes burned, and the tragic situation continues.
First of all, I would like to express my deepest respect to Regional Secretary Brother Hidayat for his dedicated support to our affiliated unions in Myanmar to date.
UA ZENSEN has so far provided emergency assistance to CTUM on three occasions and will continue to do so until the day when democracy is achieved in Myanmar and union activists can work in peace.
The world tends to focus on Ukraine, but we also request continued and stronger support for Myanmar.
I am also aware that the IUF is working vigorously, led by Regional Secretary Brother Hidayat, on the “responsible withdrawal” from Myanmar that many GUFs are pursuing.
Several global beverage and food companies have established and are still operating in Myanmar.
Some say that asking these companies to withdraw would “take away the jobs of their members,” but in Myanmar, trade unions that are democratic in their activities are suppressed, while so-called “yellow unions” that are obedient to the military regime are more common. We also hear that many jobs for union members are being replaced by so-called non-unionized, non-regular workers.
It is no longer possible to practice human rights due diligence in Myanmar, and I will conclude my remarks by asking the IUF to increase pressure on transnational companies operating in Myanmar.