Tailandia - Workers sacked for union activities (2010)

Over 500 workers from the Canadoil Asia Thai in Amata City Industrial Estate in Rayong went on strike on 22 January to protest against the dismissal in December 2008 of Canadoil Thailand Workers’ Union President Mr. Prapat Methongchan and 18 union workers because of their union activities. The union had submitted a list of collective bargaining demands in December, and followed up with a petition in January to show support for its demands. On 27 January, management dismissed 78 workers who had signed the petition. The company has also intimidated and coerced union members to resign from the union and given pay increases to workers who do. Canadoil agreed to rehire 16 union officials in May after the union filed a complaint with the Ministry of Labour. The company pays the officials’ salaries, but they are not required to report for work.

About 900 workers at the Kawasaki plant in Chonburi/Rayong Eastern Seaboard Industrial Zone went on strike on 22 June after management unilaterally changed the working time and then dismissed 11 union representatives who opposed the change. This was followed by a company announcement that 872 workers would be laid off. On 8 July, the strike ended when the plant union reached an agreement with management.

In May, the Japanese-owned NTN Nidec company in Rayong fired 103 workers, including the entire 13-member Executive Committee of the NTN Nidec Thailand Workers’ Union. The company’s action to dismiss the workers occurred in the midst of a union organising campaign and negotiations over salaries. A worker protest in May resulted in the company reinstating the dismissed workers, but the company continued to threaten and harass union members and officers.

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