In Thailand, where most industrial factories are owned by multinational corporations, steep competition from emerging low-wage Asian countries like Vietnam drives factory owners’ relentless efforts to cut costs by targeting wages and working conditions. Meanwhile, the government’s stepped up efforts to privatize key sectors is resulting in layoffs and wage cuts. Unions representing manufacturing workers and public employees are meeting the challenges by joining forces in a tightly knit network to pool resources and strategies to best assist workers. “If you don’t have a union, you can’t negotiate with employers, you don’t have as good benefits or safety conditions," says Larey Youpensuk, president of the Thailand Auto Workers Union. Read more at the Solidarity Center.
photo: Workers at the Ford Motor Company assembly plant in Rayong, Thailand, are members of the Thailand Automobile Workers Unions, a Solidarity Center partner. Credit: Solidarity Center/Julian Hadden