Tailandia - Auto parts company brings criminal charges against union leader

The auto-parts manufacturer Y-Tec brought criminal charges against union president Ruangsak Klaimala for submitting a complaint to the government employment arbitrator, the Labour Relations Committee (LRC), IndustriALL reported in October 2017.

Y-Tec had forced 32 union members to resign due to “restructuring” when they formed the Prachinburi Automobile Part Workers Union at the end of 2016. The union submitted a complaint to the LRC, and the company stepped up the pressure. It offered bribes to Ruangsak Klaimala to dissolve the union, set up video cameras to record union members, and conducted drug tests on them. Ruangsak Klaimala was transferred from his supervisor’s position to a newly created manual job at a lower wage.

Further to the complaint to the LRC, which ruled in the workers’ favour, Y-Tec filed a defamation charge against Ruangsak Klaimala for a post he wrote on social media and then dismissed him because he had criminal charges against him. The company has also filed defamation charges against an academic who wrote an article criticising their practices.

The LRC ordered the reinstatement of the dismissed workers, but instead of doing so Y-Tec has lodged an appeal against the decision, while pursuing its criminal case against the union president.

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