Thailand - AutoAlliance attacks Ford-Mazda Thailand Union (2011)

AutoAlliance (Thailand) Co. Ltd. (AAT), a joint venture between Ford Motor Company and Mazda Motor Corporation, based at the Eastern Seaboard Industrial Estate (ESIE), locked out its Ford-Mazda Thailand Union (FMTU) employees on 5 January after negotiations broke down over wages and bonus issues. The plant’s 2,200 full-time workers were given until 6 January to either report to work and accept the AAT’s offer on wages and bonus or face a lockout. Employees accepting the offer would be guaranteed full pay and benefits and receive a full-year bonus. During the lockout AAT utilised uniformed and non-uniformed police and Thai military personnel to intimidate workers demonstrating against the lockout. The owner of the ESIE filed charges against six union leaders for damages caused by blocked traffic during the union picketing. The lockout ended on 10 February when AAT and FMTU negotiated a settlement to the dispute.

In a related matter, subcontracted workers at the plant, whom AAT hires through a HR Digest Co., Ltd. (HRD), and who work on the production line with FTMU members, joined the FMTU during the lockout and requested that HRD enter into negotiations for a collective agreement. In response, AAT locked out the subcontracted workers and HRD dismissed 108 employees. On 15 November, the Labour Relations Commission ruled against 80 dismissed HRD workers who had filed a complaint that alleged they were illegally dismissed for their union activities after they joined the FMTU. The workers plan to appeal the decision to the Provincial Labour court.

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