U Maung Maung, secretary of both the Thai-based the National Council of the Union of Burma and the Federation of Trade Unions (Burma), has received an acclaim from an American city for what it calls “his dedicated service to Burmese workers and to promoting democracy in Burma”.
The San Francisco Board of Supervisors declares August 10, 2004 in the City and County of San Franciso as Maung Maung day in honor of the Burmese pro-democracy activist.
Citing the Burmese military government’s use of forced labor on a variety of projects and its ban on trade unions, the Californian city’s officials lauded U Maung Maung in its proclamation for “working tirelessly for years on behalf of union workers in Burma and throughout Asia and for helping form in 1991 the Federation of Trades Union, Burma (FTUB) to fight for trade union rights and democracy in Burma”.
In an interview with VOA Burmese Service, U Maung Maung said his fight for workers’ rights began during the 1988 pro-democracy uprising. He also said he is now in San Francisco to urge workers to stop contributions in the pension funds of American companies doing business in Burma and for the city to help support the NCUB’s effort of bringing about the tri-partite talks in Burma for national reconciliation and democracy.