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In memory of Aung Ko Latt

It is with deep sorrow the RTBU has learned of the death of Aung Ko Latt, who was arrested by Myanmar’s military police on 4 January 2022. Aung Ko Latt was an assistant locomotive driver with the state-owned Myanmar Railways, where he had worked for more than 17 years, and a member of the Mahlwagone Railway Union in Yangon. He was involved in the Civil Disobedience Movement in Myanmar from its beginning, and also worked for the union office. Two days after his arrest his family was asked to retrieve his body. It was clear he had been tortured and killed. 

Our thoughts are with Aung Ko Latt’s wife and children in this terrible tragedy. The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) is currently trying to arrange support for his family through the Confederation of Trade Unions of Myanmar (CTUM), and we will advise members of how they can help.

The ITF are also concerned by the disappearance of Brother Lin Lin, a locomotive driver who has worked with Myanmar Railways for 18 years and a member of the Mandalay Railway Union (MRU). Brother Lin Lin was arrested by military authorities on 3 January in Chan Mya Thazi, Mandalay. ITF is trying to coordinate with MRU and CTUM to secure his safe return.

These attacks on workers and union members are horrifying, but sadly not unheard of under authoritarian rule. The ITF will be reporting the extra-judicial killing of Aung Ko Latt to the Independent Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar and the United Nations. While the Mahlwagone Railway Union is not affiliated with the ITF at present, they have asked that the illegitimate government be subjected to wide-ranging economic sanctions. The ITF will be calling on international governments to enforce UN General Assembly Resolution 75/287 and an arms embargo on Myanmar. 

Locomotive Divisional Secretary Farren Campbell said, “This tragic news serves as a stark reminder of the strife faced by workers around the world and our part in a truly international fraternity. The Locomotive Division has a proud and long-standing history of internationalism, with not only the ITF but, ASLEF, JRU, RMTU and the ICLS. On behalf of the Membership, I offer our deepest sympathies.”

The RTBU will keep members updated with any news. As the ITF coordinates with other global union federations, we’ll let members know how they can support any coordinated action against the military regime in Myanmar.

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