9 October, 20136 October, 200 union delegates of IndustriALL Thai affiliates joined the official launch of Confederation of Industrial Labour of Thailand (CILT) held in the Bangkok Palace Hotel.
The new Confederation has 148,540 members from 211 local unions active in the sectors of electronics, electrical appliances, auto and metal, textile and garment, paper, petroleum, materials, chemical, oil, gas and electricity.
Four national federations are founding members of CILT namely Thai Confederation of Electronic, Electrical Appliances, Auto and Metal Workers (TEAM), ICEM Thai Council, Textile and Garment Workers Federation of Thailand (TWFT) and Automobile Labour Congress of Thailand (ALCT).
CILT vows to fight precarious work and push for labour law reform for better protection of the right to organize and collective bargaining.
The new Confederation has also on its agenda to intensify trade union education for rank and file members and precariously employed workers. Importantly, CILT has committed to promote women participation at all levels of union structure.
Chalee Loysoong, President of TEAM said, “CILT will work not only for its current members but will also reach out to unorganized workers. We will recruit more workers into the union movement.”
Sia Jampathong, President of TWFT said, “Capital is moving fast and there is no other way to fight but to organize every workplace. And we need a powerful industrial union to do that. Our members at Thai Rayon textile are now on strike and we will do everything we can to support the workers.”
Chakri Roengharin, Vice president of the Electric Power Union (EGAT LU) and Chair of ICEM Thai affiliates Council said, “CILT is a big step for the Thai labour movement. We have moved beyond legal barriers and decided to form CILT for the future of the labour movement.”
Manit Promkareekul, President of ALCT said, “The main purpose of forming CILT is to strengthen the labour movement. The only way to go beyond restrictions of trade union rights in a country is to come together and work together.”
Theerawut Benmart, Deputy General Secretary of TEAM and Coordinator of the CILT Working Group on CILT said, “We have had several meetings to discuss about building sustainable labour movement. The CILT Working Group has completed its task on drafting CILT statute. The next step is to organize a general assembly for members to vote on the draft statute.”
Yongyuth Mentapao, General Secretary of TEAM spoke about the plan to mobilize on 7 October to push the Thai government to ratify the core labour rights Convention 87 and 98 to pave the way for labour law reform in Thailand.