Tin Tin Wei used to toil 11 hours a day, six days week sewing jackets at a factory in Myanmar. But she hasn’t stitched a single garment since a coup in February.
Instead, the 26-year-old union organiser has been protesting in the streets — and trying to bring international pressure to bear on the newly installed junta.
Her union, the Federation of Garment Workers in Myanmar, and others have been staging general strikes to protest the coup and are urging major international brands like H&M and Mango, which source some of their products in Myanmar, to denounce the takeover and put more pressure on factories to protect workers from being fired or harassed — or worse, arrested and killed for participating in the protests.
“If we go back to work and if we work for the system, our future is in the darkness, and we will lose our labour rights and even our human rights,” said Tin Tin Wei, who has been a clothing factory worker since age 13.