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Myanmar: EI supports efforts to build a strong trade union movement

Maung Maung, General Secretary of the Federation of Trade Unions of Burma, expects to be able to return to his home country in November without the risk of prosecution.

He told the EI Asia Pacific (EIAP) Regional Committee meeting, held from 11-12 July in Bangkok, Thailand, that democratic change in Myanmar occurred due to unrelenting international solidarity and political pressure.

So far, 81 unions, including two teachers’ organisations, have applied for registration with the public authorities. Maung Maung, a political refugee for a long time, requested that international support be provided to his country’s emerging union movement.

EI funding

EI has made funds available for the development of teachers’ organisations in Myanmar. “We are not only determined to help the teachers of Myanmar establish an independent and democratic organisation, but also to support the country in building a quality public education system,” said EI General Secretary Fred van Leeuwen.

Topics at Asia Pacific meeting

The EIAP Regional Committee meeting, chaired by the former President of the Japan Teachers’ Union, Yuzuru Nakamura, discussed various regional issues, as well as the many professional and trade union programmes carried out by the regional office in 2012. EI President, Susan Hopgood, addressed the EI involvement in UN and World Bank efforts towards the achievement of Education For All targets.

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