Reclaim the Freedom of Association and Resume Previous Conditions of Employment

กองบรรณาธิการ TCIJ Sat, 7 April 2018

Reclaim the Freedom of Association and Resume Previous Conditions of Employment

The General Motors Thailand Workers Union has previously disputed with the General Motors (Thailand) Company Limited located in Rayong Province since 8 February 2013. The employer has locked out 300 union members to overcome the dispute. Until 7 November 2017, 72 union members could not face their worse economic situations; they accepted all conditions of the employer in order to be reinstated. However, the employer did not break the promise and did not reinstate everybody at all. Consequently, 72 workers filed the complaint to the Labour Relation Committees, the Ministry of Labour titled “Unfair Action” and then the committees ordered the company to reinstate 70 workers, including pay damages.

Later on 7 March 2018, the employer summoned 70 workers to reinstate them. However, the company offered them to relocate them at a new workplace: warehouse in Ayutthaya Province (in the central part of Thailand). The company also commanded them to work there since 19 March 2018, with their wages and welfare being reduced. As a result, workers’ salaries are lower at the minimum wage rate. (About 50% reduced from the latest salary before being locked out). Moreover, their positions are demoted into lower skill workers which are heavy manual labour.

The command of the company above make the workers feel very worried about their families because they are based in Rayong and nearby (in the East of Thailand). Most of them thus decided not to relocate as ordered and they decide to resign because they cannot tolerate with displacement and worse condition of employment. There are only 9 workers who decide to work at the warehouse.

The employer’s order violates labour rights and human rights. The workers cannot be able to tolerate the unpleasant condition of employment. The employer intents to undermine their association as the workers are suffering from being incapable to take care of their family, especially in urgent time and spending more costs of living. And one of 9 workers is woman. She must seek a lodgment alone and travel to work on her own without the company’s shuttle bus. The employer never concerns the women’s rights.
General Motors (Thailand) Company’s behaviors are seen not willing to follow the Labour Relation Committees’ order  and labour law by demoting workers’ position and reducing their salary as well as breaking GM Code of Conduct.  The employer can undermine workers’ capacity to work productively and labour relation.

Demands of GM Workers Union: General Motors (Thailand) company must

  1. Reinstate all union members and resume the previous position and condition of employment
  2. Never undermine GM workers union and oppress union committees and members
  3. Follow Thai labour law and internatinoal labour standards as well as GM Code of Conduct

31 March 2018

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