No rest for labour rights on International Workers’ Day

On May Day, labour activists across Thailand assembled to call for a better welfare state and fair working conditions.

International Workers’ Day or May Day this year saw the Rangsit and Area Labour Union travel to Pathum Thani to deliver a petition to the provincial governor. The petition mades eight demands:  

  1. A welfare state
  2. Fair wages
  3. Ratification of International Labour Organisation Conventions 87 (Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise) and 98 (Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining)
  4. Safe working conditions
  5. Compulsory education until a undergraduate level
  6. A democratic system, with elections in 2017
  7. Halt to rising electricity process
  8. Investigation by the governor into the Rangsit water supply

The petition notes that the union has delivered petitions on May Day to the governor in previous years calling for a welfare state, the acceptance of ILO conventions and freedom of association and assembly.

“But we have never received a response of any kind,” the petition claims. “So on this day, which is an important day in labour history, the Rangsit and Area Labour Union is informing the governor of these issues to ensure he understands.”

The petition was received by Monsit Paisarnthanawat, Deputy Governor.

The same day, more than 160 members of the Northern Labour Network travelled to the provincial hall in Chiang Mai to deliver a declaration based on brainstorming with the region’s workers. Migrant workers, informal workers, factory workers and service workers were invited to contribute to the declaration.