The Myanmar government has urged factory owners in the country to follow the mew minimum wage standard by signing employment contracts with their workers within the first month of their employment starting September, said an announcement of the Ministry of Labor, Employment and Social Security published Tuesday.
The announcement came after the government's National Minimum Wage Committee designated on last Friday a basic and standard minimum 8-hour daily wage of 3,600 kyats (about 2.83 U.S. dollars for all workers in the country.
Small and family-run businesses with less than 15 workers are also advised to sign such employment contracts specifying their wage agreements, the announcement said.
The government's Friday order said the minimum wage, covering all regions and states, will take effect on Sept. 1, adding that it does not apply to businesses with less than 15 workers such as family businesses.
The committee proposed the minimum wage on June 29 and invited public feedback after conclusion of one year's coordination between the government, employers and labor representatives.
While up to five workers' federations and one trade union agreed on the proposed rate, Myanmar's garment entrepreneurs voted against it, saying that if the government rate is finally adopted, their factories will be forced to close in September.
According to the Garment Entrepreneurs' Association, more than 30 factories with foreign investment in Yangon have expressed their intent to shut down in September if the proposed minimum wage takes effect on Sept. 1.
The closure of the 30 factories may leave more than 70,000 people jobless, the association warned.
Although the committee's final designation of the minimum wage last Friday has not yet seen immediate response from the public, Labor Minister U Aye Myint has said that any factory, including foreign-invested ones, may close and withdraw if they want to shut down, according to local 7-Day News on Monday.