On 15 March 2009, representatives of Burmese workers living in Japan founded the Hotel and Restaurant Workers Union – Burma (HRWUB). There are around 10,000 Burmese workers living in Japan at present, many of whom fled the military dictatorship because of political persecution. As with migrant workers in many other countries, they struggle to find work and face difficulties because of discrimination and problems concerning legal status. The hotel and restaurant industry is a sector which has a large component of migrant workers. In Japan many Burmese workers are employed in the sector, yet they have few if any protections to deal with issues such as unpaid wages or health and safety problems. Given this, many Burmese workers have indicated the need for forming a trade union. continue reading

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