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MYANMAR DIGNITY BLOSSOMS. FARMERS TRADE UNIONS CULTIVATING SUSTAINABLE FARMING AND A JUST SOCIETY

Place: burma-myanmar, Asia
Socio-economic dynamics and global markets Socio-economic dynamics and global markets
Total Budget: € 0,00 | Period: From May 2011 To

Summary

Dignity seeds sown by Burmese farmers in decades of dictatorship, started blooming in 2011. Trade unions operating underground since 1991, striving against forced labour, killings, rapes, land confiscation, from 2011, were authorized to set up Agriculture Farmers Federation Myanmar.  From then till now, AFFM succeeded to organize 26.714 farmers in 503 trade unions. 200 more are waiting for registration. AFFM project is to build decent work and sustainable farming. For this AFFM set up a Women Committee, Lawyers Network and a Land Dispute Settlement Committee and with agronomists help, AFFM members use organic farming in many townships and in the Thai Parami School, involving 500 Myanmar refugees and migrants children. From now to 2016 AFFM priority is to organize farmers trade unions all over Myanmar, farmers cooperatives to gain decent work, social protection, sustainable agriculture, food security and a just inclusive democratic society, giving farmers hope in the future. 

Partnership

Agriculture Farmers Federation Myanmar - Burma (Myanmar)

Lead applicant

Parami Learning Center - Thailand

Initiative partner

the Parami learning Center, best known as Parami School is organized by the members of the FTUM former FTUB in Thailand for the horphanes and children of Burmese migrant workers. the School hosts children from the kindergarden to high school. the school teaches also human rights, antitraffiking culture, environmental protection, organic farming

Italia-Birmania.Insieme - Italy

Initiative partner

Promote and implement initiatives and exchanges between Italy and Myanmar to support the institutional, economic and social actors and civil society organizations in the promotion of democratization and reconciliation of the country, of the rule of law, human and labour rights, the implementation of responsible economic relations, based on compliance with the UN Declaration on Human Rights, the ILO fundamental Conventions, the OECD Guidelines on Multinationals, the UN principles on Business and human rights.

FEDERATION OF TRADE UNIONS MYANMAR - Burma (Myanmar)

Initiative partner

Democratic and inclusive trade union organization organizing sectoral workers unions to negotiate agreements with government , national and local authorities and employers to promote decent work, gender empowerment, workers rights, good employment, skill and vocational training health and safety at work, sustainable and fair economy, peace and democracy in all Myanmar.

Burmese farmers have working in a clandestine way during the dictatorship. they risked their lives and freedom to denounce forced labour, killings, rapes, crop and land confiscation. in 2011, after they were authorized to set up the Agriculture Farmers Federation Myanmar, they organized 26.714 farmers in 503 trade unions. 200 more are registering. Despite big obstacles, AFFM is building decent work and sustainable farming, empowering Women, solving land disputes through social dialogue, with help of a land dispute Committee and Lawyers Networks. AFFM members now practice organic farming in many townships and in the Thai Parami School with 592 Myanmar migrants children. up to 2016 AFFM priority is to organize farmers all over Myanmar, to promote a new pattern of agriculture based on sustainable development, decent work and income in a just inclusive democratic country for all.

After decades of dictatorship, AFFM  knowledge seeds are centered in the democratic decision making and participatory management principles, a new conflicts resolution culture through  social dialogue, to improve farmers living and working conditions, to end human rights violation, forced and child labour and land confiscation. For the first time, farmers and landless workers are not afraid to organize.
Thanks to continuous training on legal issues and  on sustainable agriculture best practices, AFFM was able to gain credibility and to become a strong collective, responsible voice in negotiating land rights, legislative changes and new sustainable productive methods. The Women Committee is working to empower women farmers, encouraging them to take part to collective actions and to all AFFM leadership position. Organic farming and sustainable agriculture culture and methods are used as key strategies to foster decent jobs and food security, granting a future also to the environment. 

Democratic decision making: Phyapone Farmers trade union formation farmers meeting to decide formation of AFFM union in Phyapone Township. Similar meetings take places in orther Townships and Regions to organize trade union registration.
Seeds of democracy: May Day celebrations 2003 inside Burma/Myanmar During the dictatorship the underground FTUB now FTUM organized farmers on fundamental human rights and sustainable agriculture. The picture show the celebration of May Day in 2003 in Karen State, with farmers speeches on main challenges as forced labour, land confiscation, human rights and workers rights.
The fight against forced labour contributed to the dictatorship fall. the collection of hundred thousends cases of forced labor exacted in the countryside and sent to the ILO were crucial to the fall of the dictatorship and to obtain key legislative changes. Here a group of forced labourers, just escaped from military in Karen State, informing Cecilia Brighi on 26th of January 2002. She was collecting data to present complaints to the ILO.
Women farmers empowered in the AFFM Since the beginning women members of AFFM organized in a Women Committee and have a key role in the decision making and in the formation of the AFFM leadership and strategies. AFFM has a codified policy on gender issues.
Young workers are central for AFFM and FTUM FTUM and AFFM attention to young workers problems and their active involvement build the basis for a new consciousness. In the picture young workers discuss minimum wage draft law proposal at the FTUM training center opened in December 2013 near Yangon.
AFFM: MYANMAR DIGNITY BLOSSOMS FARMERS TRADE UNIONS CULTIVATING SUSTAINABLE FARMING AND A JUST SOCIETY. The efforts of the Myanmar/Burma farmers to promote human rights, dignity at work and a sustainable development through a challenging project of organizing smallf armers, landles workers and women in free democratic trade unions
../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf first AFFM Congress in Myanmar 2011 First AFFM congress plant the seeds for participatory organizing and action for decent work and sustainable agriculture

Myanmar is the poorest South East Asia country. Near 85% of poverty is in rural areas where 40 million people live and rely on farmland and forests, particularly on rice crops.Agriculture contributes to 1/3 of the country’s GDP to 15% total export earnings. The new political phase is overcoming the  military dictatorship legacy and that of its grave human right violations: widespread corruption, forced labour, extrajudicial killings, arbitrary arrests particularly in the rural Ethnic villages. Rural poverty stems from unskilled, unprotected labour subject to casual wages and lack of assets, particularly land. 54% of the rural population is landless. Small farmers and local authorities are not aware of the specific international instruments to protect workers’ rights, particularly in front of foreign investors. The new semi- civilian government approved key positive political measures, but the new agriculture laws do not answer farmers,women  and landless workers Legal rights.

AFFM is experimenting small food conservation and better crop marketing most women living in rural areas earn very little. Lack of food conservation and tranformation means reduce the possibility of better earning in local markets. AFFM is experimenting small food transformation and conservation initiatives and is willing to strenghten this activities also through creation of cooperatives that would enable strong sineriges and a better marketing.
Fight against child labour in agriculture is a crucial seed of change In this picture the teacher rof an informal school in Bago region requested to children doing child labor in the fields to stand up: the majority did. AFFM is working to obtain decent salaries for the adutls workers, so that children can play and go to school, and a strong national program to fight child labour, respect minimum age and grant free compulsory and good education for all children and girl particularly in the poor rural areas.
Poverty eradication objective involve the majority of small farmers In a country like Myanmar, extraordinary rich of natural resources, poverty is the fruit of a long dictatorship and internal armed conflicts, lack of freedom of association and collective bargaining. AFFM and FTUM are striving to overcome these legacies, to build a just inclusive society, to reach decent work and decent income. These objectives are crucial to eradicate poverty and indebtedness, grand food security in rural areas, building technical skills and inclusive communities.
../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf 12 farmers sentenced to hard work in 2009. Twelve farmers in central Burma sentenced to up to five years imprisonment with hard labour on trespassing charges after returning to work on land confiscated by the government. The legacy of the old dictatorship that government is committed to overcome.
../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf OECD Myanmar AGRICULTURE POLICY RECCOMENDATIONS The paper is an extract from the OECD lates report on Myanmar policy reccomendations that contain a chapter on agriculture.

AFFM farmers in only 2 years from their legalization gained outstanding results:
Contribution to  forced labour eradication  and to  the offender’s prosecution;
Through advocacy, social dialogue, knowledge sharing and capacity building, the 503 AFFM unions empowered poor farmers, enabling  them to have a collective voice, and  to win many land conflicts government recognised them as key social actor.
AFFM implementation of organic farming projects in Magwe, Bago and Yangon Region, through skill training is enabling farmers to reduce indebtedness, increase food security quality production reduce social exclusion and poverty, while promoting secure and just access and control over land for poor women and men. AFFM membership of Asia Farmers Association, cooperation with ILO and IITALIA.BIRMANIA.INSIEME helped them to gain from international experiences and links. The adoption of a smart phone communication system on farming issues  and organizing, enabled easy interaction with no costs.

Farmers themselves become organic farming trainers Thanks to the adoption of simple teaching methodologies, farmers themselves are trained to become trainers and become a wheel of change, since they themselves are witnessing the positive results.
Organic farming methodologies are used by AFFM Members. Thanks to continuous training given by AFFM to farmers to improve their skill and promote organic farming, sustainable productive initiatives are taking place and are expanding in the areas where AFFM is present. experiments on good quality rice seeds production, soil improvement, organic fertilizers are becoming common among AFFM Members.
Young students become engine of change Envirnoment Day celebration at the Parami School in Mae Sot Thailand. Thanks to AFFM and FTUM work, seeds of change are growing in the Parami School enrolling this year 592 Myanmar migrant workers children. A new consciousness and culture is taking place. Organic farming experience and environmental culture are producing long lasting changes in hundreds young students.
young women workers empowered in the Agriculture Farmers Federation Young women are organized and empowered in the AFFM and FTUM. They are given the instruments to defend their rights, to be able to protect their health and to use organic farming. Despite the many cultural obstacles, tthanks to the AFFM gender inclusion rules, they are encouraged to actively participate to the organization life and to be elected in decision making positions.
../file-system/small/page ../file-system/small/page FTUM striving for decent minimum wage Lack of minimum wage for agriculture farmers particularly in large agribusiness is a mean to maintain poverty in the country. FTUM and AFFM are proposing 700 Kyat/hour for minimum wage for this year and a revision once a year and set up new wage if necessary. equal representative ( and gender balance should be also considered.
../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf Farmers Organizations launch launch Medium Term Cooperation Program2 in Mya After consultation with small-scale women, men and young farmers representatives, on January 12, 2014, a detailed discussion on and signing of the MTCP2 letter of agreement (LOA) was held with key leaders of the Association of Farmers Federation Myanmar (AFFM), which was chosen as the National Implementing Agency (NIA) in the country.

AFFM beneficiaries are poor farmers, women, landless workers and their families who fight for decent income, food security, land rights, dignity and human rights.
Through collective organizing, awareness raising, training, social dialogue and legal action, the AFFM aims to respond to the farmers demands for overcoming polluting and poor agriculture methods, in favour of organic farming, fertilizers production and pest fight methods. AFFM work replies to poor crops quality, lack of modern techniques and infrastructures and indebtedness with new farming experiences in Magwe, Bago and Kayan Region,  where farmers experiment organic farming, quality seeds and paddy production, new food processing and marketing methods, that in the long run can open the perspective of entering in the international markets, increasing farmers income. The Thai Parami School small project answers to the need of students, families and local consumers who want to benefit from organic products. 

AFFM meeting with Naga Farmers Naga region is a far away area with very bad infrastructures and roads. Trade unions are trying to organize with great difficulties and to promote decent work and market opportunities for a naturally organic agriculture. Naga agriculture, as the other small family farms in the ethnic States can play a key role in promoting sustainability, if supported trhough technical assistance to improve water and access to land.
Ethnic farmers key for preserving biodiversity and fight poverty Small scale farmers are key for preservation of biodiversity, cultural traditions, ethnic specificities and local food productions The 130 ethnic groups of Burma /Myanmar with their small farming are ke need to food security, can be a model for biodiversity preservation and mitigation of climate change, contributing to eradicate hunger and poverty. AFFM is committed to win the challegne to shape positive agriculture policies, overcoming the alreay existing large monocrop investments.
Fishermen and small farmers future undermined by monoculture investments Poor fishermen of the Inle Lake, one of the most famous touristic attactions of the country, are surviving and struggling against the increasing water pollution, wastes from intensive tourism infrastructures. Similar situations are faced by fisherment and small family farms particularly in some costal areas where great oil and gas fields, monocrop investments,huge industrial zones or intensive touristic infrastrutures are undermining workers future as well as the enviromment.
../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf AFFM DAGON PORT FARMERS UNION ORGANIZING On 2013 April 25th, four Agricuture and Farmers unions of the Dagon Port ( Yangon region) gathered to form a township level union. Of eight registered unions of the same township, four unions, composing 50% gathered.
../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf AFFM KHAYAN TOWNSHIP OFFICE ORGANIZING The organization is ivery important because it includes very poor farmers

Farmers started organizing during the dictatorship, thanks to key person such as U Maung Maung, FTUM Gen. S.,Ronnie Than Lwin, Vice President; U Min Lwin active   . Many young women such as Ma Phyo Sanda Soe, Ma Khaing Zar Aung,Mae Thazin became key women organizers. U Than Swe, a poor farmer, now AFFM president. Studying at night he became a lawyer to defend farmers against land and crop grabbing. In 2011,  the project of a national  agriculture and farmers trade union could  legally develop. AFFM is affiliated to FTUM and ITALIA-BIRMANIA.INSIEME supports both organizations with its professional skills. After  only 2 years from its start, AFFM organizes 503 unions  in 10 regions  and 18  townships. The AFFM is made up by a National Secretariat with 3 trade union leaders, an Executive Council of 13 leaders with 3 women, a lawyers network of 20 lawyers and a Women Committee of 12 women. Thai Parami school has a wide staff of teachers, voluntary personnel and agriculture experts.

A young woman leads the youth organizing on labour rights FTUM youth committee Secretary Phyo Sandar Soe, a 30-year-old union organizer, fled Burma in 2006. She joined FTUM while working at a garment factory in Thailand. “ I didn’t know when we could achieve democracy, but I joined FTUM in the belief I could do something for the workers of our country.” “the regime questioned my parents and my sister was put in prison for one night. The special bureau agents told them I was a terrorist, but I had gone to Thailand to study human rights and labour.”
AFFM EXECUTIVE COUNCIL: THE LEADING DEMOCRATIC FARMERS DECISION MAKING BODY The executive council of AFFM meeting on November 2011 to organize the future initiatives. U Than Swe is the President and U Tin Tun Aung, the General secretary. U Than Swe a small farmer aware of the profound injustices that farmers had to bear, he studied hard at night and became a lawyer to be able to protect farmers rights against land confiscation and other abuses..
Internal Displaced People hiding in the jungle assisted by Trade unionists Thousands farmers hiding in the jungle fearing the attacks of the army, survived in harsh conditions, thanks to many volunteers and underground trade union help, giving medical, food and education assistance. U Min Lwin (FTUM) and his team went continuously in the Karen jungle, risking their life, also collecting data on forced labour, child soldiers, land and crop confiscation for complaints to the ILO. U Min Lwin and his wife, also set up the Parami learning Center in Mae Sot Thailand.
Maung Maung, a couragious and tenacious Trade Union Leader built the change U Maung Maung plaid an key role in the growth of the Burmese trade unions. In 1988 he found and became President of All Burma Mining Union. For his involvement in the anti-regime protests, accused of terrorism, he had to flee to Thailand. In1992 he co-founded the FTUB and denounced to the ILO the violations of fundamental HR. In 2012, he could go back to Myanmar and legally organize the FTUM. In recognition of his long lasting commitment, in June 2014 he was elected in the ILO Governing Body.
Trade Union Leaders fighting forced labour Since 1996 underground trade unionists, particularly U Maung Maung General Secretary of FTUM (former FTUB) and many others collected and presented to the ILO the evidence of forced recrutment of children in the army and the exaction of forced labour that involved hundreds thousends of people, particularly farmers.
Trade unionists assisted just escaped forced laborers Mr. Ronnie Than Lwin, now Vice President of FTUM and Cecilia Brighi, former ILO GB member and now Secretary Geneneral of Italia-Birmania.Insieme, meeting with just escaped forced laborers in 2009 to collect data to present complaints to the ILO on forced labour. The diffuse exaction of forced labour and children conscription to the army have been the major reasons at the basis of international political and economic sanctions against the military regime.
Women play a key role: Daw Khin Win a wise and smart organizer A key AFFM and FTUM organizer for the Kawhmu and Kungyangone townships. She plays a role in the negotiations between trade unions and government on the land rights issues.
../file-system/small/pptx ../file-system/small/pptx affiliation scheme from 2012 to 2015 the Scheme shows the growth of the trade union and the steps to 2015

Lack of resources, skill and infrastructures to organize and train the poor farmers scattered in the countryside are the main difficulties in the AFFM creation, growth and implementation of a sustainable farming.  Little transportation means,little free time due to hard work to be carried out daily were key problems, besides the bureaucracy obstacles in the trade union registration.  Thanks to International trade unions: ITUC, ILO, Rengo -Japan, ITALIA-BIRMANIA.INSIEME, AFA  AFFM initiatives, are consolidating through mobile skill and organizational training groups, the expertise  of agronomist, trade unionists and lawyer, plus smart phone data sharing. The reaching of remote areas such as  the dry zone or the mountainous Naga region villages, with farmers awareness raising initiatives are changing the future perspectives  of neglected farmers, creating the basis for a collective action to positively change agriculture work and the country. 

POVERTY ERADICATION AT THE CENTER OF TRADE UNION POLICY Poverty and food security remain serious challenges facing Burma/Myanmar. One in four people lives below the national poverty line and two in five children below the age of five are under-nourished. The rural poor account for 84 per cent of the total poor.poverty, The long dictatorship with a fear legacy, lack of education, poor infrastructures are other great obstacles to positive changes. AFFM and FTUM are committed to poverty eradication through collective bargaining and social dialogue.
Land confiscation and new government policy different from reality. Land confiscation, without prior consent and compensation for large investment projects, continued immediately after the political change, several are the collective complaints against military and local authorities who are granting land to large agribusinesses despite the fact that government is changing its policy, deciding in many cases to give land back to farmers.
../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf Environmental problems by large development projects need sound policies Huge environmental problems caused by large agribusiness, development projects need to be tackled. The special Burma/Myanmar natural environment, that has one of the world's few remaining pristine ecosystems is being degraded due to both human activities and natural phenomena such as forest fires, landslides, floods and storm surges.
../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf GIEWS COUNTRY BRIEF GIEWS COUNTRY BRIEF jointly developed with FAO illustrate the country situation, where while some progress have been made in terms of cereal and rice exports, food insecurity remains high particularly in some areas, particularly in some States where UNHCR estimates the presence of half a million of IDPs and due to the increases of food prices that affect the vulnerable groups of the population. The still ongoing conflicts and political tensions are still great obstacles to the food security and farmers organizing.
../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf Land confiscation and protests continue Land confiscation and negative impact of large infrastructural and development projects initiated during the dictatorship now feed the protest of affected farmers and villagers who request the protection of their rights. AFFM is tackling the problem through social dialogue, negotiations with the interested authorities, the legale intervention and the request for transparent and just ruleson land rights.

Since the dictatorship times, farmers  trade unionists are fighting against environmental and natural degradation from intensive, polluting farming, land confiscation for agribusiness, energy and mining projects and unsustainable business practice.
Farmers through underground organizing presented detailed complaints to ILO and UN on such human rights and environmental violations. After 2011 and AFFM formation, farmers trade unionists are openly struggling to overcome the negative culture of mono-cropping practices, land degradation and soil erosion, particularly in upland agriculture areas and dry zones. These issues with salinity increase in the delta regions and inadequate flood control, cause increasing farmers poverty and indebtedness. The adoption of organic farming and the smartphones network experiment helps farmers to manage a range of risks, improve land and natural resources management and  information, particularly early climate warning. 

AFFM protest against unjust decisions of the Land managment Committee The AFFM made a public statement on his critizisms and strongly request for changes of the Land Law and of the decision making taken by the Institutional Land Commission, which are undrmining farmers land rights.
Awareness raising on environmental challenges key in AFFM strategy Farmers living in remote areas and small villages have less capacity to tackle the impact of climate change. Smartphone initiatives that AFFM is starting will facilitate contacts, dialogue and information on key problems like weather info, early alert on potential floods as well as earthquake while facilitating organizing and emergency response.
Trade unions support sustainable agriculture and responsible Tourism As in the picture taken under the famous U Bein Teak Bridge in Amarapura, farmers and landless workers living often in environmentally beautiful areas are affected by old and new environmental problems, such as increased industrial tourism with little concern of the environmental impact of the sector. Trade unions are trying to tackle such problems to enhance cultural diversities, develop organic farming while creating decent jobs three issues very strictly connected.
../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf AFFM commitment for biodiversity and healthy farming. Biodiversity preservation through organic farming is a key objective for AFFM that developed an inclusive teaching method and implementation program. Here the case of Kayan Township, Yangon Region. is presented with photos.
../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf AFFM farmers travel to Japan to learn organic farming an important exchange experience for 6 farmers members of AFFM, who went to Japan to learn best organif farming techniques to reproduce in Burma/Myanmar.
../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf agriculture constraints and environmental problems in Myanmar The table developed by ADB describes the key agriculture constraints and environmental concerns that farmers have to face and that the AFFM is trying to tackle through a combination of means.

AFFM organizing strategy,  based on democratic decision making and responsible rural development culture, thus being an integral compo¬nents of sustainable development and decent work, are creating trust and joint work  also in the ethnic States,  enhancing the rich multi-ethnic differences and the full inclusion of women and ethnic representatives.
All the three pillars of development, economic, social and environmental are the basis of the strategy for the strengthening of a national representative trade union organization. AFFM plans to realize its objectives within two years, through a participated practice, capacity building process with the support of international experts, lawyers and  ITALIA-BIRMANIA.INSIEME. The successes obtained in the solution of land grievances, government recognition of the AFFM role, the success in the experimenting of organic farming, soil testing and organic seeds productions are creating trust and interest in  AFFM initiatives in new areas. 

AFFM 2nd Congress in Yangon 28-29 October 2014 2nd AFFM Congress took place in Yangon ion 29 October 2014, The Congress approved the rules and regulations for the organization functioning and the main leaders. U Than Swe has been elected President and Ronnie Than Lwin, Vice President.
AFFM President in Rome with ILC and IBI builds international cooperation The first meeting with International Land Coalition brought to the development of positive relations and cooperation with other farmers organizations in the Asia Region.
AFFM delegation to FTUM historic pre congress AFFM delegation participating to the FTUM pre congress gathering, discussing the key strategic proposals to be approved by the Congress taking place at the end of November 2014
Positive solution of land conflicts thanks to lawyers networking The intensive legal training, the building of a lawyers network brought to the positive solution of a series of land conflicts.
../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf Farmers organizations launch medium term Cooperation The positive work done during the past years brought to agreements with other organizations such as Asia Farmers Association. An agreement between AFA and AFFM was signed on January 12 2014.

The farmers, women and landless workers empowerment are stimulated through specific and targeted training and organizational means. Young workers meet and organize concerts in which specific social slogans are included. Role play and stories presentation help to disseminate ideas, boost cooperation and solidarity. The new productive methods and the values behind their participative organizational structures are illustrated through workshops. Small farmers themselves are trained to become local leaders and initiative promoters.  Training of trainers, information, videos, power points defined by farmers themselves plus the networking through smartphones, internet, and Facebook are new means used by farmers themselves to inform, contact, organize and publicize the results of their work.

Farmers legal training! not only farming methods. AFFM strong legal training gives to farmers, women and landless workers the necessary knowledge on their land and workers rights and the capability to start negotiations with the local institutions or employers as well as legal complaints and to easily relate with the lawyers network that support farmers in tackling the often difficult conflict situations, coming from unclear land legislation, land conflict and other issues.
Organic farming training: a mean to share experiences and build trust Training is organized in such a way to create inclusive environment, trust and common ground for future work. Concepts are explained in easy and attactive way to make it easy to practice them in the daily work. Issues such as health and safety, social protection and labour laws are key part of the trainings.
Training of trainers key to create a wide network of support Farmers are trained as trainers to teach to other farmers how to promote organic farming, how to tackle agriculture problems and find the positive solutions. The creation of field level experts is also a way to involve steadily fermers in the organization, so that they can paly an active role contributing to build a wide capable network.
A glimpse of the 2014 FTUM Labour Day Celebrations in Yangon FTUM 2014 International May Day in Hlaing Thayar Township. Special guest: President Union Office Minister U Aung Min.Labour, Deputy Minister U Htin Aung, FTUM General Secretary Maung Maung, ILO Liaison off. Mr. Marshall and ITUC Myanmar Director Mr. Nakajima spoke. Daw Swe Zin Htike Secr. of MMPO spoke on Gender Equality. Sectr. Hla Shwe of MCU on consumer rights, followed by local unionist' entertainment performances. Popular vocalists Lin Lin, Mi Mi Gal, Eaint Chit, Lynn Nit performed. Stalls sold food and clothing on May Day for union fundraising.