The Supreme Court of Thailand on Thursday affirmed a previous ruling in a landmark test case that 14 migrant workers from Myanmar be awarded Bt1.7 million to compensate for rights violations perpetrated against them by Thammakaset chicken farm in Lopburi province.
The court dismissed Thammakaset’s second appeal requesting a compensation order made in August 2016 by the Lopburi Department of Labour Protection and Welfare (DLPW) requiring the farm pay the 14 workers Bt1.7 million in past wages. The Region 1 Labour Court previously rejected a first appeal by chicken farm, which was contracted to supply poultry to Thai export giant Betagro.
The latest appeal rejection, which is final, approved the Labour Court’s reasoning. The compensation money, lodged with the Court as condition of the appeal, will now be given to the workers
The Supreme Court’s ruling dismissing the company’s second appeal was publicly read by the Labour Court in Saraburi province on Thursday.
The 14 worker’s own litigation, claiming Bt44 million in damages and compensation for abuses suffered, remains pending a final ruling of the Supreme Court expected later this year. It was filed at Region 1 Labour Court against Betagro, Thammakaset and Lopburi DLPW officials in September 2016.
The workers consider the DLPW order does not award them adequate compensation for the up to five years of what they have argued were abusive working conditions. The workers have alleged gruelling working days stretching up to 20 hours, along with forced overtime including sleeping overnight in chicken rearing areas.
The workers have also alleged unlawful deduction of salaries, threats of further deductions, confiscation of personal identity documents and limited freedom of movement.