On May 13, employees from the Myanmar Times went public after being told their salaries would be cut 50% in May, followed by forced unpaid leave throughout June. Wai Lin, the chief operating officer of Myanmar Times said: “At the end of June, we’ll make a decision on whether or not to call them back in.” The paper has not elaborated on the reason for the layoffs.
Employees expressed concern the company is firing staff without making severance payments, as mandated by the labor ministry. The Covid-19 outbreak has continued to slam media revenue worldwide forcing layoffs and newspaper closures.
In November 2019, Myanmar Times let go 13 editors during a “reorganisation exercise with the aim of improving the quality of the paper.”
The IFJ said:
“During this unprecedented health crisis and incidental economic insecurities, the Myanmar Times must be transparent with their employees. The IFJ urges the Myanmar Times to focus first and foremost on securing their employee’s rights."