In 2020 we were asked by the Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations (SOMO) to search for workers’ social media posts about the situation at two garment factories in Myanmar during the Covid-19 crisis. Although the screening revealed little information regarding these suppliers, we did though come across a wealth of information on the hardships and injustice Myanmar garment workers had to endure during to the Covid-19 crisis. We believe that these voices coming from workers, union leaders, and labour activists need to be heard and, therefore, put together this report. After we completed data collection for the analysis, a military coup hit the country exacerbating workers’ hardships.
During the Covid-19 outbreak, unions and labour NGOs posted pictures of workers in front of factories waiting for the gates to be opened. Now, workers gather in front of the factories again – this time because they want the gates to remain closed. They leave the workshops, join protests, and ask brands to speak up against the violent coup. To drain the military junta from resources, workers demand that brands do not place orders. End of April 2021, Covid-19 and the military coup jointly erased more than 400.000 jobs in the textile sector, which once employed about 600.000 people.