Tailandia - Nakashima Rubber Company refuses to reinstate the union leaders (2013)

The Nakashima Rubber Company operates a facility in an industrial estate located in Ayutthaya. The workers organized a union in 1995. On January 17, 2005, the company dismissed four union leaders including the president. At the time, the local union had 1,045 members from a total work force of 1,400. About 350 of the workers were on short-term contracts hired through employment agencies. Immediately following the dismissal, the employer refused to allow the union leaders to enter the enterprise to meet with their members or to represent them. The company claimed that the four union leaders violated company rules pertaining to “union duty leave” but the union insisted that they had always asked the personnel office for permission. The company also accused the union leaders of changing their shift without notifying or receiving authorization from a manager, which the union refutes. Two of the union leaders decided to take a payout from the company and resigned. The other two union leaders, however, fought their case over a seven-year period and won in the Labour Relations Committee and the Central Labour Court but the employer continued to appeal the decisions and refused to reinstate the union leaders. Finally, on September 3, 2012, the Supreme Court ordered the company to reinstate the two dismissed union leaders. The employer, however, refused to abide by the Supreme Court’s decision. The two union leaders have now filed a lawsuit against the company for not complying with the Supreme Court’s decision.

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