Skip to main content

Cover photo: Chanakarn Laosarakham

Laid-off workers from two textile companies have submitted a letter to the PM, seeking financial support from the government as they have not received wages and severance pay from the companies.

Photo from Workers' Union

On 26 September 2023, a group of laid-off workers from the two textile companies, Alpha Spinning and AMC Spinning, and representatives from the Labor Network for Peoples Right gathered at Government House to submit a letter to the PM, requesting him to approve a budget to help the laid-off workers since the companies had failed to pay wages and severance pay according to the law.

Photo from Workers' Union

According to the Labor Network for Peoples Rights, the Ministry of Labour failed to enforce the law with these two companies, resulting in the employees losing the rights to which they are entitled. The government must take responsibility for this failure by approving a budget of 34 million baht as compensation for Alpha Spinning’s employees and 18 million baht for those of AMC Spinning.

The employees also called on the government to prosecute both criminal and civil charges against the companies to ensure that the employers will not violate the labour law in the future. In addition, they called for enhancement of unemployment benefits in light of the current cost of living and to safeguard employees’ income during unemployment.

Surin Kamsuk, representative from the Labour Union of Printed Packaging Industry, stated that some workers are in debt while some workers could find new jobs. However, it is difficult for those who are over 50 years old to find new jobs. He emphasised that the majority of the workers are still distressed and the compensation they are seeking is their rights.

Sia Jampathong, labour activist and MP from the Move Forward Party, also came to observe the gathering. He stated that officials blocked the entrance to the building with metal fences, preventing the workers from entering Government House.

Sia Jampathong

(Photo from Workers' Union)

He remarked that he hopes that the elected government will uphold freedom of expression as promised. But when it comes to a real situation, it seems to be problematic as the people were denied their rights by the police.

Sia stated that the workers want the government to provide compensation first and then mandate that the companies pay the workers since the workers themselves are unable to claim directly from the companies. They need to rely on state mechanisms. Sia added that initially they need financial support from the government to ease the current situation as the workers have been distressed for several months.

Sia mentioned that he brought up these issues in parliament but he has not seen any progress. He said he would question the Labour Minister and the PM on how they will address the issues. Sia noted that he does not want the same situation to happen in the future.

Somkid Chueakong, Deputy Secretary General to the prime minister, received the letter on behalf of the PM. He said there will be a meeting to discuss the issue and encouraged the workers to remain hopeful that Srettha Thavisin’s administration would take care of them with full effort.

Photo from Workers' Union

Somkid added that the Ministry of Labour will be handed over the issue from now on.

Since 2007, Prachatai English has been covering underreported issues in Thailand, especially about democratization and human rights, despite the risk and pressure from the law and the authorities. However, with only 2 full-time reporters and increasing annual operating costs, keeping our work going is a challenge. Your support will ensure we stay a professional media source and be able to expand our team to meet the challenges and deliver timely and in-depth reporting.

• Simple steps to support Prachatai English

1. Bank transfer to account “โครงการหนังสือพิมพ์อินเทอร์เน็ต ประชาไท” or “Prachatai Online Newspaper” 091-0-21689-4, Krungthai Bank

2. Or, Transfer money via Paypal, to e-mail address: [email protected], please leave a comment on the transaction as “For Prachatai English”