UnionAID

Rangsit and Area Labour Union

(RLUG)

Thailand

The Rangsit and Area Labour Union Group (RLUG) was established over 40 years ago and is a collective of enterprise level trade unions based in Rangist, an industrial area just north of Bangkok.

Thailand has mandatory retirement at 55, and an aging union leadership threatens the union group. RLUG approached UnionAID in 2018 with a partnership proposal to develop young union leaders, unionise more factories

RLUG has identified serious challenges facing workers and the Rangsit and Area community including social issues such as drug and alcohol abuse, domestic violence, debt and family breakdowns.  They also identified a struggle organising migrant workers and refugees from Myanmar, who are isolated from the broader community, face language barriers and are paid lower wages.

Thailand has not ratified ILO conventions 87 & 98 on Freedom of Association and Right to Organise and Bargain Collectively. It is also illegal for workers to protest or take industrial action in support of claims or in defence of their rights.

Since receiving funding from UnionAID, RLUG have held seminars and study group sessions covering a range of difference topics for union members. One result of this was an increase in the number of young members, particularly women being elected to union committees and taking on leadership roles.

Rallies and campaigns are held to highlight workers’ rights during the year and in addition the RLUG staff actively participate in pro-democracy actions, instigating the formation of a wider Labour Network for Human Rights group.

The RLUG have undertaken to reach migrant workers from Myanmar and Cambodia who are stuck in Thailand without work or social welfare the union group provide them with food supplies, medicines, and other support.

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