25 October, 2023Thai auto parts company Y-Tec continuously violates workers' right to organize, and is now suing a union leader for defamation.
In August, Y-Tec filed a defamation suit against the president of Confederation of Industrial Labour of Thailand (CILT) Prasit Prasopsuk. Y-Tec is accusing Prasopsuk of defaming the company in an interview in May this year.
In the interview, Prasopsuk criticizes the union busting at Y-Tec. When the local union, a CILT affiliate, re-launched its organizing drive and recruited more than 100 members, the company dismissed five union activists.
In a letter to Y-Tec and its parent company Yamashita Rubber, IndustriALL Global Union general secretary Atle Høie urges the companies to stop union busting and reinstate the five union activists.
"Y-Tec has repeatedly engaged in unfair labour practice. The acts of anti-union discrimination breached Yamashita Rubber's code of conduct, which follows the principles of human rights, non-discrimination, and harmonious relationship with local community. We call on Y-Tec to drop the defamation suit immediately,"
says Atle Høie.
Prasopsuk reminded the company to respect article 34 of the Constitution of the Kingdom of Thailand that guarantees the liberty to express opinions, make speeches, write, print, publicise and express by other means.
“Yamashita Rubber and its subsidiary must stop prosecuting union leaders. Thai workers have every right to join a labour union under the Labour Relations Act. The continuous union busting shows the relevance of ratification of ILO Convention 87 and 98.”
CILT's affiliate the Confederation of Thai Electrical Appliances, Electronic Automobile & Metalworkers (TEAM), organized Y-Tec workers in 2016. When the Prachinburi Automobile Part Workers' Union was formed, Y-Tec immediately moved union members to the night shift and forced 90 of them to resign.
Despite a complaint lodged by workers with the Labour Relations Committee (LRC), Y-Tec sued the union president Ruangsak Klaimala for defamation over a social media post and bribed some union members with higher termination compensation. The LRC ruled in favour of the union but the company refused to comply.
Y-Tec produces automotive components like engine mounts, suspension bushings and hose tube for cars and motorcycles. The company is headquartered in Japan, with oversea production facilities in US, Mexico, India, China and Thailand.