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Trade unions call for ratification of ILO Conventions on Freedom of Association and Collective Bargaining

A network of Thai labour unions will meet in Bangkok, 29-30 August, to push the Government to ratify ILO Conventions on the rights to organize and bargain collectively.

Media advisory | Bangkok, Thailand | 27 August 2012

BANGKOK (ILO News) – A network of Thai labour unions will meet in Bangkok, 29-30 August, to push the Government to ratify International Labour Organization (ILO) Conventions on the rights to organize and bargain collectively.

About 125 trade unionists, representatives of workers, employers, Parliament Standing Committee on Labour, Ministry of Labour, Royal Thai Police, and ILO experts will meet to discuss the importance of ratifying the ILO Conventions. HE Mr Phadermchai Sasomsub, Minister of Labour and Mr Jiyuan Wang, ILO Country Director for Thailand, Cambodia and Lao PDR will open the meeting.

Mr Pong-Sul Ahn, Senior Specialist of on Workers’ Activities, ILO Decent Work Team, Bangkok said: “Ratification of both ILO Conventions will help reduce the current labour relations problems in Thailand. Improving workers’ rights will also improve workers’ satisfaction and result in higher productivity, which will contribute to industrial and economic growth. The ratification will also help Thailand’s competitiveness in globalization, as many countries use labour standards as barriers to trade. In the long term the ratification will help build a society that equally and justly share benefits and reduce the income gap.”

The Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise Convention, 1948 (No. 87) and Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining Convention, 1949 (No. 98) are fundamental Conventions which guarantee the rights of workers to gather and negotiate through collective bargaining. Out of 185 ILO member States, 151 have ratified Convention No. 87 and 161 have ratified Convention No. 98. Thailand is a founding Member of the ILO, having joined in 1919, but has not yet ratified either Convention.

Speaking to the International Labour Conference in June 2010, HE Mr Chalermchai Sri-on, the former Minister of Labour confirmed Thailand’s commitment to workers’ rights and said that Thailand was drafting a Decent Work Country Programme based on the respect for the freedom of association and collective bargaining.

In October 2011, HE Mr Sihasak Phuangketkeow, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Thailand to the United Nations Office in Geneva, pledged at the Universal Periodic Review of the UN Human Rights Council that Thailand would sign both ILO Conventions No. 87 and No. 98 because the country had been selected to be a member of the Council. The Ministry of Labour, through its Office of Labour Relations under the Department of Labour Protection and Welfare, has carried out national public hearings on two ILO Conventions.

The two-day meeting is organized by ILO and the Working Group to Promote Ratification of ILO C.87 and C.98, which includes 15 labour organization networks.

The media are invited to attend the meeting, which will be held at the Amari Watergate Hotel, Pratunam, 29-30 August, starting at 9am.

For further information please visit the ILO website, or contact:

Mr Pong-Sul Ahn, Senior Specialist on Workers Activities
ILO Decent Work Team, Bangkok
Tel. 02 288 2247

Krisdaporn Singhaseni, Information Officer
ILO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (Bangkok)
Tel. 02 288 1664