Global Union Federations Support Thai Workers: Permanent Jobs First, Ratification of ILO Conventions 87 and 98

International trade union federations lend their support to the Thai labour movement’s campaign to protect precarious workers and their demands for the ratification of fundamental International Labour Oraganisation (ILO) conventions numbers 87 and 98, on Freedom of Association and the Right to Organise and the Right to Collective Bargaining.
Thousands of workers will gather outside the United Nations Building on Ratchadamnoen Road from 10:00 am to attend the big open air seminar on ILO Conventions 87 and 98 in front of the UN Building where the ILO office is also located.
The workers then will march to Government House in Bangkok at noon on October 7 demanding the abolition of temporary, casual contract and other form of non-regular employment and calling for the ratification of the core ILO conventions to protect workers’ rights in Thailand.
Representatives of the International Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mine, and General Workers’ Unions (ICEM) and the International Metalworkers’ Federation (IMF) attended the rally in support of the Thai unions’ action, which coincides with the World Day for Decent Work and a week of global mobilisation against precarious work.
Fernando Lopes, Assistant General Secretary of the IMF, will speak at the rally. Lopes states, “across Thailand and around the world regular employment is systematically being replaced by precarious employment and this situation not only affects workers but also trade union membership. With low wages, lack of social security and tenure of employment these workers are the most exploited.”
“Around the world today, unions are taking the fight to governments, calling on them to ensure equal rights for precarious workers and to strengthen legislation to prevent employers from using precarious employment in place of permanent and direct employment,” added Lopes.
"The economic crisis has made this demand all the more urgent, not only because precarious jobs have been the first to be lost, but because there is a real risk that employers will use the crisis as a justification to replace permanent jobs with precarious jobs. We support our affiliate the Confederation of Thai Electrical Appliances, Electronic Automobile & Metalworkers (TEAM) in their demands on government to protect workers and ensure that employers can't treat them as a disposable commodity," he argued.
For the ICEM, ICEM Thai Union Affiliates’ Committee Chairman Rawai Pupaga, the President of the Government Pharmaceutical Organisation Labour Union (GPOLU), said, “For decades, the labour movement has urged the Thai government to ratify these Conventions, but prior governments have neglected the labour demands.”
“Non-ratification of these important Conventions has resulted in barriers and obstructions to workers who want to form trade unions and pursue collective bargaining. Now is the time for the Thai government to prove that we have a democratic country, because Conventions 87 and 98 give basic and democratic rights inside the workplace.”
Added ICEM General Secretary Manfred Warda, “It is important that the Thai government lead by starting the process toward ratification of these ILO core labour standards. It is also important that the government create and maintain a healthy, sustainable economy by promoting temporary and agency work into permanent, full-time employment opportunities.”
Besides GPOLU, Warda commended other Thai labour federations affiliated to the ICEM that are taking action in Bangkok tomorrow on World Day for Decent Work. They include the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand Labour Union (EGATLU); the Petroleum and Chemical Workers’ Federation (PCFT); the Paper and Printing Workers’ Federation (PPFT); and the Chemical Workers’ Union Alliance (CWUA).
In addition to ICEM and IMF, the rally is supported by the International Textile, Garment, and Leather Workers’ Federation (ITGLWF), the International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers' Associations (IUF), Public Services International (PSI), International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF), the Building and Wood Workers’ International (BWI), State Enterprise Relations Confederation (SERC), Thai Labour Solidarity Committee (TLSC), and all the national trade union congresses in Thailand.
The action is being organized by TEAM, ICEM Thai Committee, Thai Labour Solidarity Committee and the State Enterprise Relations Confederation.
Notes to editors:
  1. More information about the World Day for Decent Work can be found here:
  1. More information on the IMF campaign against precarious work can be found here:
  1. More information on the ICEM contract and agency labour campaign can be found here: