Yangon: Workers in military-dominated Myanmar will be allowed to unionise and go on strike for the first time in decades, officials said on Friday, under landmark new legislation welcomed by the United Nations.
The law was signed into effect by President Thein Sein on October 11, government sources said, and replaces the repressive 1962 Trade Unions Act, in the latest sign of tentative reform by the authoritarian regime.
"Workers will have the right to form unions and to strike under the law," a government official said on condition of anonymity.
The legislation stipulates that workers, with the exception of military and police personnel, may set up a union with a minimum of 30 members and come up with their own name and a logo.
Employers must be given up to 14 days notice of industrial action and unions must specify in advance how many people will take part in the strike, it said.
Providers of essential services, such as healthcare, firefighting, telecommunications, the supply of water and electricity, do not have the right to strike.