Labour Minister Mr. Suchart Chomklin received requests for the National Labour Day to be presented to the Prime Minister to help the workforce and improve workers’ quality of life to ensure protection and safety at work, with social security.
On April 30, 2021, at 13.00 hours, at the Chatumongkol meeting room, 6th floor, Ministry of Labour, the Labour Minister Mr. Suchart Chomklin, Advisor to the Labour Minister Mrs. Thiwalrat Angkinan, Permanent Secretary of Labour Mr. Suthi Sukosol, and the Ministry of Labour’s executives received requests for the National Labour Day 2021, from Mr. Sawit Kaewwan, Secretary-General of the State Enterprises Workers’ Relations Confederation and Mr. Charlie Loisung, Advisor to the Thai Labour Solidarity Committee. The request, including 12 items, will be presented to the government, together with ten urgent proposals during the Covid-19 pandemic. Labour Minister Mr. Suchart Chomklin said that for National Labour Day on May 1, it is customary for labour leaders to request government action in supporting the workforce. The government, under the leadership of Prime Minister and Defense Minister General Prayuth Chanocha and Deputy Prime Minister General Prawit Wongsuwan, who oversees the Ministry of Labour, have emphasized the importance of the workforce by considering the actions as requested by the labour leaders. The Ministry of Labour is committed to developing workers to have high potential and improve the quality of life for the workers and their families. Efforts aim to provide stability, for workers to be able to live sustainably and with dignity, achieving balanced development in all aspects, including the prevention and solution of human trafficking, occupational safety, employment promotion, migrant worker management, social security for informal workers, and vulnerable groups and skill development. It also aims to raise the level of social security for the workforce to receive the most benefits, in line with the demands of the past year.
The 12 requests submitted to the government are: 1) The government must provide universal welfare for all people with equal access, without discrimination as follows: 1.1) In public health, whereby all citizens must have access to quality and free medical care. 1.2) In education, whereby all citizens must have access to education at all levels. Formal and alternative education is free of charge. 2) The government must set fair wages to cover workers in all sectors as follows: 2.1) Define the minimum wage for those entering the workforce to earn sufficient income for their living and families of two people, according to the principles of the International Labour Organization. The standard must be equal throughout the country. 2.2) The requirement of a wage structure and adjustments every year. 3) The government shall ratify the International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention as follows: 3.1) Convention 87 on the Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise. 3.2) Convention 98 on the Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining Convention. 3.3) Convention 183 on Maternity Protection. 4) The government must stop all forms of privatization and have state enterprises reformed to develop the potential to provide good quality services for the benefit of the nation and the people, as follows: 4.1) Cancel the policy of privatization of state enterprises and the transformation of all forms of state enterprises. 4.2) Establish the State Enterprise Development Fund. 4.3) To have transparent management that is verifiable, with engagement from various sectors. 5) The government has to cancel the policy of limiting the workforce of state-owned enterprises and reducing the benefits and welfare of employees and their families. 6) The government must require government employees in various government agencies, in central and local areas, to receive wages from the national budget. They must be employed as a civil servant, employees or permanent employees. 7) The government must reform social security as follows: 7.1) Reform the Social Security Office structure to be independent, transparent, and verifiable, involving the participation of insured persons. 7.2) Contributions to the Social Security Fund must be equal in proportion to the government, employers, and insured persons. 7.3) Manage Section 40 and Section 33 insured persons to receive equal benefits. 7.4) Increase the benefits for seniors to 50% of the last month’s wages. 7.5) For the Social Security Office to announce the adoption of all 17 legislations issued under the Social Security Act, revised version B.E. 2558. 7.6) Extend the time frame for access to medical treatment rights of the Workmen’s Compensation Fund until the end of diagnostic treatment. 7.7) Support and promote the establishment of financial institutions for workers (Labour Bank) and create hospitals in different regions according to the proportion of insured persons in the area and develop doctors, nurses, and other personnel of the Social Security Office. 8) The government shall ensure the strict implementation and enforcement of the law if an employer terminates a worker without compensation or does not pay the full amount required by law, such as business closure or dissolution of business in all forms (according to the Constitution, Chapter 5, Section 53). 9) The government must establish an investment hedging facility, whereby requiring employers to contribute to the fund as a guarantee for the protection of workers’ rights. When the employment is terminated or ended, and the employer does not pay compensation, the workers must be entitled to receive money from this fund and support for legal proceedings between the employer and workers or the state and organizations that violate the law. 10) The government must develop mechanisms to access rights and enforce laws, safety, occupational health, and the environment at work. The government must allocate a sufficient budget to the Institute of Safety for effective management of safety, create a mechanism and rules under the participation of all workers, and abolish all forms of asbestos use. 11) The government must terminate unstable employment such as temporary, daily, hourly, chartered labour, and part-time employment in the public and private sectors. 12) This proposal is to protect the rights of migrant workers: 12.1) The government must create universal health coverage for all people regardless of status and must not discriminate against anyone nation for effective access to treatment and non-discrimination against migrant workers. 12.2) The government must give all migrant workers access to the Workmen’s Compensation Fund when there is an accident in any case. 12.3) The government must provide the “Section 33 We Love Each Other” remedy program to provide non-discriminatory support to insured migrant workers under Section 33 and remove the condition that they must have Thai citizenship and provide assistance to insured migrant workers under Section 38.
For the ten urgent proposals during the Covid-19 pandemic, the request is for the government to issue measures to alleviate the suffering of people and workers during Covid-19: 1) Accelerate the vaccination of the people as soon as possible and provide opportunities for those who are ready to import and provide vaccinations with state-certified standards, to vaccinate people who are close and employees in their establishments to reduce the burden of the government. The vaccinations against disease must cover migrant workers working in Thailand. 2) Establish good care measures for people at risk of infection, such as medical personnel, public health, and public service personnel, in terms of vaccines and adequate equipment, screening, and protection. 3) Allow the people and workers in all occupations, including migrant workers, access to comprehensive services and testing, ensuring equality and fairness. 4) For the government to support the peoples’ expenses in terms of public utilities such as electricity, water, internet, and telephone expenses, as it will benefit everyone and every family. This support must be the budget from the state, not through the burden of service agencies. 5) Remedies and assistance, if needed, must be fair and without discrimination. It must cover the poor, low-income groups and care for migrant workers appropriately as human beings. 6) Cancel or reduce the tuition fee collection when the government has the policy to move to online learning. 7) The government must control the price of goods not to be expensive and punish those who take advantage of the peoples’ suffering. 8) Governments must control the management of Covid-19, especially in terms of procurement, and budget expenditures, ensuring transparency and no corruption at all levels. 9) The government must create measures for the agencies and establishments in both the public and private sector to maintain employment so that there is no termination of employment or using the Covid-19 situation to terminate workers’ employment as it will aggravate the situation and crisis even further. 10) The government has declared Covid-19 a deadly contagious disease that affects workers who are sick from the disease. In the future, new pandemic diseases may occur. Therefore, the government has to set clear regulations or measures regarding protection, medical treatment, and compensation to workers who may get sick or die from such diseases.
Division of Public Relations
30 April 2021