News

    Thai Women's Trade Unionists Call for Job Security

    Women industrial workers in Thailand, many in the textile and electronics sectors, are pressing the government for greater job security and social welfare policies in the face of the global economic downturn. The calls came during rallies marking International Women's Day.

    In speeches women trade union representatives in Thailand, marking international women's day activities, called for greater job security as the global economic downturn makes deep cuts into employment in export-oriented industries.

    The rallies, led by workers from the textile and electronics industries, called on the government to provide more welfare to the unemployed workers and support industries hit by the downturn.

    Speakers called for promotion of a welfare state, free education, tax reform, and a reduction in excessive spending in areas such as the military and the promotion of labor politics.

    Miss Saifung is a university student who supported the trade union calls for better pay and job security.

    "For the working class women they ask for gains [sic] is not enough, yes, salary or what they should get, so this is what is right for them to do today," she said. "As you can say for this demonstration I think they should focus more - I mean truly focus - on what the working class or the labor unions really need."

    Female workers dominate textile, electronics industries

    Thailand's textile and electronics industries, driving forces of its industrial export strategy over recent decades, are dominated by female workers. In many factories as many as three quarters of the employees are women.

    But the recession and slide in export demand has left women factory workers bearing the brunt of cutbacks.

    Mrs. Wonsanaporn is a textile factory worker. Since late last year, many factory owners have cut working hours and pay by 25 percent. 

    Wonsanaporn says the government should provide financial support to the factory which is facing problems in gaining credit to meet export orders.

    Many fall outside labor protection laws

    International Labor Organization, ILO, figures say almost 80 percent of Thailand's female workforce fall into the informal sector category, many in areas outside Thailand's labor protection laws.

    Thai economists are warning Thailand's unemployment levels could reach 1.3 million people this year, more than double the
    530,000 people who lost their jobs last year when the unemployment rate stood at 1.4 percent.

    Khun Garn, another textile worker, said the government needed to provide concrete policies to support the unemployed.

    She says job security must be enhanced. The policy must guarantee the people will have jobs, and not just empty promises from the government.

    Growing unemployment poses bigger challenge

    The growing ranks of the unemployed provide a further challenge to the Thai Government of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, which came to power in December of last year. The government in January disbursed 10 billion baht - some $303 million - to ease the plight of the unemployed.

    Suluk Lamubol, a representative from the Student Federation of Thailand, says the government will need to move quickly to assist the unemployed.

    "The economic crisis has been affecting the labor, has been affecting the students, has been affecting office, white collar, the blue collar - the people are not going to be patient considering the situation right now; it's getting acute and more acute, it's really hard work for them," she said.

    Prime Minister Abhisit, in accepting a list of demands from the women trade unionists, said the government was examining policies supportive of women in the workplace, as well as reforms to Thailand's social security system. 

     

     


    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Testing Bamboo as Building Materiali
    X
    June 27, 2016 9:06 PM
    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video New York Pride March A Celebration of Life, Mourning of Loss

    At this year’s march in New York marking the end of pride week, a record-breaking crowd of LGBT activists and allies marched down Manhattan's Fifth Avenue, in what will be long remembered as a powerful display of solidarity and remembrance for the 49 victims killed two weeks ago in an Orlando gay nightclub.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapides’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora