YANGON (AFP) – Nine Myanmar police officers were injured as they sought to free officials held hostage by dozens of angry workers demanding wages and compensation after their factory was shuttered, authorities said Thursday.
More than 150 former staff descended on the Master Sport shoe facility on the outskirts of Yangon Tuesday, demanding payment following the closure of the South Korean-owned factory in June.
Kyaw Kyaw Tun, assistant director of the labour ministry’s factories department, said five government officials arrived hoping to defuse the situation, but were promptly taken hostage by the workers.
“They (workers) said they had been waiting so long and that they wouldn’t let them go if they didn’t get their salaries by the end of this month. But they didn’t harm them,” he told AFP.
The officials – three from the labour ministry and two from local authorities – were held late into the night, with clashes between police and protesters during their rescue leaving nine officers injured, Kyaw Kyaw Tun said.