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Ministry to consider workers' Labour Day demands

The Labour Ministry has set up a committee to consider 12 demands made by workers on May 1, Labour Day.

Labour Day activities organised by the National Congress of Private Industrial of Employees were held at Sanam Luang and the Royal Plaza, the ministry's permanent secretary Jeerasak Sukonthachart Jeerasak told a press conference yesterday.

The workers' 12-point demands mostly covered calls for law amendments. Among the demands was that Thailand ratify International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention Nos 87 (on freedom of association and protection of the right to organise conventions) and 98 (the right to organise and collective bargaining convention), said Jeerasak. Amendments to two laws required for the ratification of the ILO Convention were being considered by Parliament at the time of its dissolution, he said.

Department of Labour Protection and Welfare chief Panich Jitjang said organisers had agreed to change the route of the Royal Plaza-Sanam Luang Labour Day parade after police objected to it taking place at a protest site. Panich added that workers' demand for the establishment of a work-safety institute was being considered by the Council of State, and the Labour Ministry was ready to implement it. He said there was also a possibility that the institute might eventually be elevated to become a department.

Jeerasak said that figures for the first quarter (January-March) showed a normal level of 330,000 unemployed in the 37 million-strong workforce.


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