Fwd: Urgent appeal - Thai Durable Textile Workers Union seek your solidarity

New Message Reply Date view Thread view Subject view Author view Other groups

Subject: Fwd: Urgent appeal - Thai Durable Textile Workers Union seek your solidarity
From: Human Rights School (hrschool@ahrchk.org)
Date: Thu Jun 15 2000 - 08:58:49 EDT


Dear friends,

I am forwarding this Urgent Appeal from the Committee for Asian
Women, in solidarity with the Thai Durable Textile Worlers Union,
most of whose members are middle-aged women.
It gives a comprehensive background of the problems faced by the
Union in negotiating a wage increase, which is typical for thousands
of Asian women workers, who are bearing the brunt of the economic
upheavals concommitant with the inevitable process of
globalisation.
But further than the demand for better working conditions the Union
is also protesting the Company's undemocratic actions to undermine
the workers' struggles:
"The trade union is but to uphold the principle of freedom of
association, the rights to collective bargaining and negotiation:
The company must respect the collective bargaining as a way to
avoid serious labor disputes and conflicts.
The employer must respect the demands filed by the trade union, as
this was the consensus drawn from the General Meeting of trade union.
The employer must not violate the principle of peaceful collective
bargaining and take advantage of the situation by closing down
Production section where the union members are employed."

Please try to respond.

Thank You,

Lin Chew

>>Date: Mon, 12 Jun 2000 10:40:25 +0700
>>To: (Recipient list suppressed)
>>From: Committee for Asian Women
>>Subject: Urgent appeal - Thai Durable Textile Workers Union seek your
>>solidarity
>>
>>Dear friends
>>
>>Urgent! We ask your solidarity with the Thai Kriang Durable Textile workers.
>>1700 workers from the Thai Kriang Durable Textile are occupying the
>>factory after the refusal of management to continue the collective
>>bargaining and negotiation with the Thai Kriang Durable Textile
>>Trade Union. They have been staying in the factory for at least 9
>>days!
>>They tried to meet the Labor Minister but workers were blocked from
>>entering the Labor Ministry. And, the management has refused any
>>further negotiation or collective bargaining with the Trade Union.
>>Please write to the Labor and Social Welfare Minister to request
>>for intervention to provide justice to the workers of Thai Kriang
>>Durable Textile Factory and thereby protect their labor rights.
>>[Below is a draft letter to the Minister]
>>
>>Background
>>
>>The Thai Kriang Factory is one of the oldest factories founded 40
>>years ago. 30% of the production is for export to America and
>>Europe. Of the 1888 workers, 1031 are members of the Thai Kriang
>>Durable Textile Trade Union.
>>Most of the workers are middle age women who have been working in
>>the factory for more than 15 years.
>>
>>In 1993, the Company tried to lay-off union-leader and committee
>>members citing the need for market competitiveness and
>>technological change as the reason for the lay-off. The workers
>>went on strikes and occupied the factory. This eventually developed
>>into a mass labor movement to protest against the lay-off and to
>>defend trade-union's right. The Management was forced to comply to
>>the worker's demand, the lay- off was postponed and union leader
>>were given back their posts. In 1994, the following year, the Thai
>>Durable Textile company was taken over by the Rakesh Saksena Group.
>>The group was not serious in conducting business but to acquire the
>>company's asset as a guarantee to overdraw money from the Bangkok
>>Bank Commercial. The motive was to speculate in the stock market.
>>With the stock market crashed in 1998 and Rekesh Saksana fled out
>>of the country for embezzlement, the company was brought over in
>>1999 by Mr.So Denduangdee, a Chinese-Thai origin from Hong Kong.
>>The management's team was changed, the company then pursued the
>>policy of market expansion and workers were asked to contribute
>>fully to the development of production.
>>
>>Since the new management took over the office, the Company made
>>increase profits, netting 30 million Baht a month to over 100
>>million Baht this year. To lower the cost of production, those
>>sections of production previously closed down were opened for
>>operation. The company also imported 154 sets of new machines
>>[open-end spinning] to upgrade its production and hiring 400 new
>>young workers. This shows that the Company has been able to revive
>>its business and expand its market. For the past 4 to 5 years,
>>workers and trade union have postponed their demand for the welfare
>>increase to ease the financial situation of the company. During the
>>depth of the economic crisis 1998, workers did not demand any
>>welfare and assisted the company in negotiating for debt reschedule
>>with the Bangkok Bank. Workers even sacrificed their wage increase
>>and asked not to be paid for days such as holidays which they do
>>not work. But when the financial situation, production and sale of
>>the company improved, the workers esteem, after having assessed the
>>standing of the business and the general economic situation and
>>conducted opinion survey among its members, that the company should
>>make greater and just contribution to the workers. After the
>>general meeting of the union on September 12,1999, union's member
>>decided that the trade union should hand demand to the company to
>>negotiate for wage increase, improved working condition and
>>welfare which were postponed for years now. The old negotiated
>>contract between company and trade union would expired on February
>>18, 2000. Thai Durable Textile factory.
>>
>>The Thai Durable Textile trade union handed 3 demands.
>>1. The company should commit in the 3 grades as follows:
>>- Grade A adjusts to 1 0 Baht/worker/day
>>- Grade B adjusts to 9 Baht/worker/day
>>- Grade c adjusts to 8 Baht/worker/day
>>2. The yearly bonus should be paid to all workers i.e. 2 months
>>3. The employment and welfare condition which have not been changed
>>should remain the same as before.
>>
>>The demand are justifiable because many workers have worked with
>>the company for a long time, some as long as 25 years. Many are
>>older women, aged between 35-45 years on the average and 70% of
>>them are married and have children. Moreover, since the last 4
>>years, women workers did not file any welfare demand with the
>>company. But this year when the union filed the demand before the
>>negotiated contract terminated, the Company made counter-demand and
>>ordered the close down of the production section where members of
>>trade union worked. The Thai Durable Textile's management made
>>counter-demand to the trade union that:
>>
>>[1] The annual wage increase and bonus payment will be at the
>>discretion of the company
>>[2] The company would review all employment condition and welfare again
>>[3] The duration of the employment contract for the year 2000 will
>>be in force for next 3 years
>>
>> >From counter-demand filed against trade union, it shows that the
>>Management has no intention to promote collective bargaining which
>>is an important tool of trade union to protect worker's right and
>>benefits. This is guaranteed under the labor Act of 1975 and a
>>standard practice of international community including the ILO. The
>>company reveals its intention to abuse the right to freely organize
>>and collective bargaining, the destroy labor relation in the
>>factory and trade union. The very act of the employer also
>>disregards humanistic principle and traditional practice of the
>>past which had been a concern stone to achieve peaceful working
>>relation between workers and employer at the Thai Durable Textile
>>Factory. The Company does not take moral consideration that these
>>women workers have families to feed and the fact that during these
>>past years of economic difficulties, the workers have made
>>sacrifices, forgone their demand for wage increase but also to
>>accept wage cut and welfare reduction so that the company can
>>survive the worst economic tides.
>>
>>The struggle of the Thai Durable Textile workers and their trade
>>union is but to uphold the principle of freedom of association, the
>>right to collective bargaining and negotiation.
>>[ 1] The employer must respect the collective bargaining as a way
>>to avoid serious labor dispute and conflicts which can turn into
>>violent, national confrontation. This will be no benefit to the
>>country which is slowly regaining
>>the economic growth.
>>[2] The employer must respect the demands filed by the trade union
>>as this was a consensus drawn from the general meeting of trade
>>union on September 12, 1999. This right has been guaranteed under
>>the Labor Act of
>>1975.
>>[3] The employer must not violate the principle of peaceful
>>collective bargaining and take advantage of the situation by
>>closing down working section when union members are employed. The
>>discriminatory practice must be stopped as it violates the
>>Constitution and good labor practice to promote peaceful labor
>>relation in modern factories.
>>
>>At present, the Thai Durable Textile Trade Union and Workers have
>>tried every means to pursuade owner of the factory and management
>>to open up negotiation to resolve the labor dispute peacefully. The
>>trade union has been working hard to reach agreement in a peaceful
>>way as soon as possible. We hope that those responsible within the
>>government will cooperate in achieving the above objective for
>>workers and society at large.
>>
>>
>>To: The Minister
>> Labor and Social Welfare Ministry
>> Dindaeng, Bangkok
>> Thailand
>> Tel: 66-2-2810106
>> Fax: 66-2-2814358
>>
>>
>>Request for Government Intervention to Provide Justice to Workers
>>of Thai Kriang Durable Textile Factory
>>
>>
>>Respected Sir/Madam
>>
>>We are shocked to hear of the unjust and irresponsible practices
>>adopted by the owner of Thai Kriang Durable Textile Factory to
>>exploit the workers of their labor rights.
>>
>>We are given to understand that the Thai Kriang Durable Textile
>>Factory has been operating since 1960. To date, it employs up to
>>1888 workers.
>>During the economic crisis in 1998, the workers did not demand any
>>welfare and assisted the company in negotiating for debt reschedule
>>with the Bangkok Bank. Workers even sacrificed their wage increase
>>and asked not to pay for leave.
>>
>>In 1999, the company was taken over by Mr. So Denduangdee, a
>>Chinese-Thai origin from Hong Kong. Under the new management, the
>>company was able to make profits, netting 30 million Baht to 100
>>million Baht per month for year 2000. Since the trade union had not
>>demanded for welfare improvement for the past 4-5 years to ease
>>financial burden of the company, the members of trade union decided
>>to raise their demands for welfare improvement during the General
>>Meeting of trade union.
>>
>>However, the company turned down the demands and ordered the close
>>down of production section where members of the trade union work.
>>The company reveals its intention to violate the rights of freedom
>>of association, the rights to collective bargaining, and to destroy
>>labor relation in the factory and trade union.
>>
>>The very act of company disregards humanistic principles and
>>traditional practice of the past. The trade union is but to uphold
>>the principle of freedom of association, the rights to collective
>>bargaining and negotiation:
>> The company must respect the collective bargaining as a way to
>>avoid serious labor disputes and conflicts.
>> The employer must respect the demands filed by the trade union,
>>as this was the consensus drawn from the General Meeting of trade
>>union.
>> The employer must not violate the principle of peaceful
>>collective bargaining and take advantage of the situation by
>>closing down production section where the union members are
>>employed.
>>
>>We condemn such unjust behavior of the company and request the
>>government to intervene to open up negotiations between the company
>>and trade union to resolve the labor dispute peacefully.
>>
>>
>>Please send a copy of your protest letter to the Thai Durable
>>Textile Workers Union for their reference:
>>The Thai Durable textile Workers Union
>>33 Moo 4 Suksawad Road,
>>Prapadaeng Samutprakarn 10130 Bangkok
>>THAILAND
>>Tel/fax: 66-2-4643969
>>
>>
>>
>>In solidarity
>>Yen Yen
>>For CAW Secretariat
>>**************************************************
>>Committee for Asian Women (CAW)
>>Address: 386/60 Soi Ratchadaphisek 42, Ratchadaphisek Road,
>>Ladyao, Chatujak, Bangkok 10900, THAILAND
>>Tel.: 662-9305635
>>Fax: 662-9305633
>>Email: caw@mozart.inet.co.th
>>**************************************************
>>

_________________________________
Lin Chew
Human Rights School <hrschool@ahrchk.og>

Asian Human Rights Commission
Unit D, 7/F Mongkok Commercial Centre
16-16B Argyle Street
Kowloon Hong Kong
Tel. (852) 2698 6339
Fax.(852) 2698 6367
Email: ahrchk@org
Web: http://www.ahrchk.net


New Message Reply Date view Thread view Subject view Author view Other groups

This archive was generated by hypermail 2a22 : Thu Jun 15 2000 - 09:00:05 EDT