On May 23, 2022, Labour Minister Mr. Suchart Chomklin welcomed Ambassador Sarah Bianchi, Deputy United States Trade Representative (USTR), and delegation, on a courtesy call to meet the Labour Minister. The meeting was on the occasion of attending the APEC Trade Ministers’ Meeting and discussing official issues on implementing labour assistance policies during the COVID-19 pandemic. IT also discussed the progress in amending the labour relations law and considered the ratification of ILO Convention No. 87 and 98. Assistant to the Labour Minister Mr. Surachai Chaitrakulthong, Secretariat to the Labour Minister, Mr. Suthep Chitvong, Assistant Minister from the Prime Minister’s Office performing duties for the Ministry of Labour, Mr. Suthi Sukosol, the Ministry of Labour’s Spokesperson (on politics), and Mrs. Thienrat Navamawat, Permanent Secretary of Labour, Mr. Boonchob Suttamanaswong, and the Ministry of Labour’s executives also joined the occasion at the Chatumongkol Meeting Room, 6th floor, Ministry of Labour.
Mr. Suchart said that the Ministry of Labour was pleased to welcome the Deputy US Trade Representative and delegation on the occasion of discussing and exchanging ideas on various issues of common interest. The meeting will benefit trade partners in driving the economy between the two countries. Importantly, during the COVID-19 situation in the past few years, the Ministry of Labour has responded to the government policy. The Prime Minister and Minister of Defense General Prayuth Chan-ocha and Deputy Prime Minister General Prawit Wongsuwan are concerned and instructed the Ministry of Labour to take good care of Thai and foreign workers working in Thailand, to be treated equally in all respects. It has implemented measures such as managing foreign workers, examining, treating, and distributing vaccines to insured persons to prevent COVID-19 in the workplace. Additionally, the Factory Sandbox project was implemented based on economic and public health principles to examine, treat and control the virus and work on public and private partnerships in the prevention of COVID-19 in the workplace to maintain employment and support the industry to move forward, which resulted in the export sector’s growth.
Mr. Suchart continued that the Ministry of Labour has also proposed a draft Act on promoting the development of quality of life and protection of informal workers to enhance the quality of life for informal workers to have access to basic occupational rights and protection. It aims to ensure social security, which the Cabinet has now approved. Furthermore, it has proposed amendments to the Labour Relations Act and considerations to the ratification of ILO Conventions 87 and 98 to raise labour relations standards in line with ILO standards.
Ambassador Sarah Bianchi, Deputy United States Trade Representative (USTR), commended the Thai government and the Ministry of Labour’s excellent policies on helping workers during the COVID-19 pandemic and for hosting the APEC meeting this time. The meeting is a good opportunity for Thailand and the United States to strengthen trade relations as long-standing partners. The two countries are important trading partners for each other. Today’s discussions will result in cooperation in participating in implementing the Labour Relations Act to achieve its next objectives.
Division of Public Relations
23 May 2022