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Championing migrant workers’ rights in Thailand

On International Migrants Day, UnionAID is proud to spotlight the efforts of our partners the Rangsit and Area Labour Union Group (RLUG), in advocating for the rights of Burmese migrant workers in Thailand.

Despite migrant workers contributing to Thailand’s economy and paying the same Social Security levy as their Thai counterparts, they often do not receive equivalent benefits. The RLUG is campaigning for labour laws that encompass the rights of migrant and informal sector workers, seeking to bridge this gap in social protection.

Through targeted organising by RLUG, strong relationships have developed between Burmese and Thai workers. Joint social occasions like trips to the beach or fishing together often reveal issues facing the Burmese migrants. And the RLUG have been running Thai language classes, which helps the Burmese workers to interact more and gain a better understanding of their rights.

In a move towards greater inclusivity, union members (part RLUG) at a cosmetics factory in Thailand voted at their AGM to change their union’s constitution to include migrant workers by extending membership beyond Thai nationals. 

Coordinators of this UnionAID/RLUG project have underlined the importance of solidarity and unity between Thai and Burmese workers. Encouraging active participation from all members, they emphasise the critical role everyone plays in strengthening the union.

As we mark International Migrants Day, this project is an inspiring example of how when workers stand together, they can drive forward positive change. UnionAID remains committed to supporting initiatives that champion the rights and wellbeing of all workers across our region.

RLUG union members at a cosmetics factory in Thailand voting at their Annual General Meeting on Sunday to change their union’s constitution to include migrant workers by extending membership beyond Thai nationals.

UnionAID supports democratic, worker-led organisations that help empower working people to improve their work and livelihoods through collective action.

Find out more about what we do and how to get involved here or become a Kiwi Solidarity Member now.

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