Contract Workers In Thailand Desire Equal Working Benefits


During a rally last two week to mark World Day for Decent Work, contract workers in Thailand demanded that the Thai government treat them decently, abolishing what they allege are unjust working circumstances while increasing job security.

Three additional labour and civil rights organisations, including the Thai Labour Solidarity Confederation (TLSC), the State Enterprises Employees’ Relations Confederation (SERC), and the International Labour Organisation Convention Mobility Network, attended the march in Bangkok.

TLSC leader Sawit Kaewwan said during the rally that labour groups were urging the government, including Labour Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, to abolish short-term employment or labour contracts in both the public and private sectors, as well as to halt the privatisation of state enterprises dealing with energy, transport, banking, and telecommunication.

While more organisations were recruiting contract employees, Somporn Kwannet, a TLSC consultant, warned that the existing forms of contracts offered did not ensure complete benefits and employment security for employees.

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Osot Suwansawet, President of the Government Employee Union of Thailand, agreed, explaining that as a public health contract employee at Maharaj Hospital in Nakhon Si Thammarat, he does not qualify for layoff compensation pensions, even if he is a Social Security Fund subscriber.

Organisations such as the Ministry of Public Health have employed over 200,000 contract employees across the country.

However, welfare benefits, which labour advocates have been requesting for over 20 years, have yet to be provided by their employers.

Contract labourers like Tang, 23, make around THB 18,000 (USD 487.94) each month, but their permanent staff counterparts earn more than THB 30,000 (USD 813.23).

“Permanent employees receive an annual bonus of more than 10,000 baht.” [Contract employees] contribute to the company’s revenues as well, but we are not entitled to equal perks,” Tang explained.

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