Thailand Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has promised to review a raft of workers rights and conditions and demands raised by Thailand trade unions. The undertaking came as more than More than four thousand trade unionists gathered at Sanam Luang park in central Bangkok to mark Thailand Labour Day 2013.
- Amongst issues the trade unions want addressed are:
- a fund to insure workers in case of redundancy
- a tax waiver on severance payments
- more generous maternity pay
- the establishment of day care centres in factories
- a legal amendment to bring workers’ employment standards on a par to those of civil servants
- a halt to privatisation of state enterprises
Ms Yingluck said that while her government had introduced policies that had benefited workers and society as a whole, there remained some significant labour issues which needed addressing.
She also foreshadowed the possibility of an increase in the unemployment rate – officially 0.62% – in the first six months of this year as a result of the introduction of the Bt300 ($US10) per day minimum wage nationwide following its trial in seven provinces, including Bangkok, since April 2012.
Some 5.5 million people are employed in Thailand’s factories, services and trades industries and the Thailand government recently announced a stimulus package for the country’s 300,000-plus small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) that is likely to cost it more than $556 million in lost revenue to compensate for the increase in the Thailand minimum daily wage.
Prime Minister Yingluck also agreed to appointing a working group to compile a list of the problems faced by both mainstream and informal workers.
According to a 2011 survey by the National Statistical Office more than 64 per cent or about 24.6 million of Thailand’s 39 million-strong workforce work is in the informal labour sector, including some 15.1 million who work in the agriculture sector and not covered by legislation such as minimum daily wages or social security cover. Of the remaining 15 million workers some three million are employed in the public service.
Thailand Labour Day 2013 slide gallery
Photos John Le Fevre
He has spent extensive periods of time working in Africa and throughout Southeast Asia, with stints in the Middle East, the USA, and England.
He has covered major world events including Operation Desert Shield/ Storm, the 1991 pillage in Zaire, the 1994 Rwanda genocide, the 1999 East Timor independence unrest, the 2004 Asian tsunami, and the 2009, 2010, and 2014 Bangkok political protests.
In 1995 he was a Walkley Award finalist, the highest awards in Australian journalism, for his coverage of the 1995 Zaire (now Democratic Republic of Congo) Ebola outbreak.
Most recently he was the Thailand editor/ managing editor of AEC News Today . Prior to that he was the deputy editor and Thailand and Greater Mekong Sub-region editor for The Establishment Post, predecessor of Asean Today.
In the mid-80s and early 90s he owned JLF Promotions, the largest above and below the line marketing and PR firm servicing the high-technology industry in Australia. It was sold in 1995.
Opinions and views expressed on this site are those of the author’s only. Read more at About me
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