7th October 2009 is World Day for Decent Work. On behalf of a network of labour organisations, and in the name of the Working Group to Promote Ratification of ILO C.87 and C.98 (consisting of Labour Congresses, Labour Federations, Area Based Labour Unions, the Thai Labour Solidarity Committee, the State Enterprise Workers Relations Confederation and members of the Global Unions Federation (GUFs) in Thailand), we come out to demand that the Thai Government immediately ratify the International Labour Organisation’s (ILO) Conventions 87 and 98 as a matter of the utmost urgency. Promoting valuable or decent work can never genuinely occur if the Thai Government continues to refuse to ratify these two ILO conventions. This continued refusal comes on the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the ILO’s creation, not forgetting importantly that Thailand was a founding member of this important global institution. 2009 is truly a crucial year for finally ratifying these conventions.
The continued failure of the Thai Government to ratify these two conventions is one important factor contributing to the inability of Thai workers to organise into trade unions and take part in effective collective bargaining. This failure by our Government can only be described as one that breaches the fundamental rights of workers in Thailand. This failure can only but show how the Thai Government continues to lack interest in the working and living conditions of workers in Thailand, and undermine their inability to come together to negotiate meaningfully with employers and investors. In order for the Thai Government to be seen to genuinely seek to address the challenges faced by workers in Thailand, who number more than 34 million, the Thai Government must urgently ratify ILO Conventions 87 and 98. If the Thai Government continues to seriously neglect to give importance to these two ILO Conventions, we, in the name of the Working Group to Promote Ratification of ILO Conventions 87 and 98, will only intensify our struggle both domestically and on a global stage with our brothers and sisters in the global trade union movement.
We have already notified our brothers and sisters in the global trade union movement of this important worker movement here in Thailand. We have made our voice heard to the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), Public Services International (PSI), the International Metal Worker’s Federation (IMF), UNI Global Union (UNI), the International Transport Worker’s Federation (ITF), the International Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mine and General Worker’s Unions (ICEM), and Building and Wood Worker’s International (BWI). We can be guaranteed the support of our brothers and sisters in the global trade union movement. They will surely join hands with us to send a strong signal to the Thai Government in any way they can.
Finally, we want to remind the Thai Government that: “The time is up in waiting to ratify ILO Conventions 87 and 98. The Thai Government must urgently ratify these two conventions without further delay!”