More than 200 bank staff fired for participating in Civil Disobedience Movement

More than 200 striking staff at the Myanmar Oriental Bank (MOB) were fired without advance notice, some of the ousted employees told Myanmar Now.

Staff members reportedly received a letter on April 28 stating that due to violations of the bank’s rules and regulations, they had been removed from their positions. 

The bank’s employees had been participating in the nationwide general strike in accordance with the Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM), which aims to topple the junta that seized power in Myanmar in the February 1 military coup.

“The bank branches received an email. We did not go to the bank to get it, but we already knew—the bank called us and informed us,” a now-fired MOB staff member in Mandalay told Myanmar Now of how the news was delivered. 

Some of the staff received the update that they had lost their jobs from other colleagues who had heard the news. 

“I have heard that all the employees have been fired. I haven’t received anything,” a junior staff member from another MOB branch in Mandalay said. “The reason given was that they couldn’t contact us. My phone is always switched on. They didn’t contact me.”

The bank leadership initially announced in mid-March that it would allow employees who were not present to take unpaid leave. Many staff members therefore thought their jobs were secure, or that there would be a warning before further action was taken. 

“They should have at least negotiated first. They should have called the staff and asked them to come back to work by a certain date and if they were facing any difficulties in returning to work,” a staff member from MOB’s head office said. 

Among the 200 staff fired were 55 in the Yangon head office, notified on April 27, and 124 staff from other branches, notified on April 28. 

“Now that my colleagues have been fired, it is impossible for me to continue working. They do not respect the staff. They are acting like they can fire us anytime they want. This is not how it should be,” the head office staff member told Myanmar Now.

The staff members who spoke to Myanmar Now said that they had been participating in the CDM’s general strike since February. 

MOB bank has more than 50 branches across Myanmar and around 1,500 total staff. Some 80 percent of the employees initially participated in the CDM, but after not being paid in March and facing subsequent financial difficulties, most returned to their jobs in April, vowing to re-join the strike at the end of the month. 

This left only 200 workers still on strike in April, according to staff members. 

Some of the employees who returned to work at the bank reportedly did so because they were required to pay back loans taken out from MOB, and feared their debt would be placed on their guarantors. 

MOB’s leadership is listed on its website, and is headed by President Kyi Kyi Than and CEO Kyaw Soe Min. Its board members include Kyaing Kyaing Sein, Than Win, Hla Kyi, Hla Thaung, Nyo Myint, Mya Bu, Aung Than, Zin Win Htet, Kyaw Kyaw San and Myint Swe. 


Related Articles

Back to top button