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NEW APPROACHES TO UNION BUILDING ATTRACT YOUNGER GENERATION

An emphasis on bringing in a new generation of potential union leaders has seen the increasing participation of young women workers on Rangsit and Area Labour Group (RLUG) committees and in other union activities near Bangkok. All session reporting is conducted either by one man and one woman, or two women – to build confidence and ensure their voices are heard.

Learning how to run Zoom sessions has enabled the RLUG to adapt to the Covid-19 restrictions and continue with its union activities under the UnionAID project. Study groups and seminars, some using Zoom, have passed on practical skills and knowledge to over 200 participants on topics such as exercising the rights of workers under a military government, and how to get compensation for lay-offs during Covid-19.

As the protest movement in Thailand has also grown, the RLUG unions have helped form a coalition of 45 unions, the Labour Network for People’s Rights, which is campaigning for a new constitution, resignation of the military dominated Government, a welfare state and reform of the monarchy.

Niphaporn Yavanophat and Boonyarith Wattasok present strategies from seminar participants for a programme to involve more young people and women in union committees

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