Tailandia - Migrant worker protests against labour rights violations (2012)

On 3 January, more than 300 Burmese migrant workers protested against labour rights violations of the SYK Autopart Import-Export Co. Ltd in Bangkok’s Bangkhunthian District. The workers were successful in pressing their demands for the company to pay for national holidays, sick leave, the right to obtain temporary passports and work permits, and the implementation of procedures to accurately record hours worked.

On 27 April, about 1,000 Burmese migrant workers at Saha Farm, a chicken processing factory in Phetchabun Province, protested against physical abuse by Thai security guards. The protesters briefly held two Thais hostage, before setting them both free. Thai police detained and questioned 30 protest leaders.

On 7 July, more than 400 Burmese migrant workers at the PTK shoe factory in Chedi Sam Ong in Kanchanaburi Province went on strike for higher wages. There are five PTK shoe factories with more than 2,000 Burmese workers in Chedi Sam Ong who were working a 10 hour day and earning THB7 per hour or THB70(USD2.25) for the employee’s ten hour shift. The workers agreed to return to work on 9 July after PTK officials agreed to pay the workers an extra THB15(USD0.50) per day. At the time of the strike, the statutory minimum daily wage for Kanchanaburi Province was THB181(USD5.85). On 12 July, about 300 Burmese migrant workers at the Watana Footwear Company, Ltd (WFC) in Chedi Sam Ong went on strike and demanded the same wage rate increase granted by PTK to its workers. At the time of the strike, workers at the factory earned between THB65 and THB80 for a nine-hour workday, depending on their experience. On 19 July, the workers agreed to return to work after WFC officials agreed to increase wages by THB15 per day. On 27 July, it was reported that the Burmese migrant workers who led the strikes at the shoe factories in Chedi Sam Ong had been dismissed and blacklisted. A Burmese migrant worker for Watana Footwear Company said that his Thai bosses distributed a list of around 40 names to factories in the area to warn them against employing the men.

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