SERC 247/2014 18th August 2014
Subject: Confirm Receipt Thai Pineapple Industry Association (TPIA) Letter Regarding Andy Hall’s Case
To: Mr. Nirut Ruplek (Secretary General, TPIA)
Referenced: TPIA Letter 29/2014, issued 13th August 2014
The State Enterprise Workers Relations Confederation (SERC) has received your letter and acknowledges the 4 concluding decisions of the meeting of the TPIA, as contained in referenced materials. SERC will act in accordance with intentions of TPIA to inform these decisions to SERC and all those concerned, including our sending on this information to Mr. Andy Hall. SERC will proceed to send a copy of your letter referenced to Mr. Andy Hall to domestic and international labour and civil society organisations concerned with Mr. Andy Hall also.
SERC wishes to inform you that our organisation continues to campaign to solve challenges regarding migrant workers in Thailand. This issue is specifically mentioned in the policies of the executive committee of SERC as follows: ‘SERC will support and assist every kind of worker to receive protection, including informal workers, migrant workers and disabled workers.’ In relation to the criminal prosecutions by Natural Fruit Company Ltd. of Mr. Andy Hall, these prosecutions followed publication of research findings by Mr. Andy Hall commissioned by the Finnish civil society organisation Finnwatch. This research pointed out rights violations in this establishment in Prachuap Khiri Khan Province. The research involved assembling information from interviews of workers whose rights were violated. Violations outlined in this research included: child labour; salary payments less than the minimum wage; confiscation of personal identification and work documents of migrant workers; and failures in sick leave, day off and annual leave systems for migrant workers. These are issues and challenges SERC is interested in and continues to campaign to find solutions to so that migrant workers in Prachuap Khiri Khan Province are able to avail of all the proper labour protections provided under Thai Labour Law.
SERC considers that the dissemination of research on this occasion was intended to contribute to addressing or solving challenges facing migrant workers in the pineapple industry. For this reason, TPIA should open its mind and ears to the information shared as a means to address challenges regarding migrant workers as this would be beneficial to the sustainable trading success of the TPIA in the future. TPIA should use this crisis to exchange and converse to ensure positive labour relations together according to the labour relations system that SERC fundamentally adheres to.
SERC has neither the intention to interrupt the work of TPIA nor damage the reputation of TPIA in any way. However, SERC insists to remain committed to the policy of the SERC executive committee concerning our fight to ensure rights for all workers, both Thai and migrants, with no exceptions including those relating to skin colour, status, ethnicity, language or culture. As a result, SERC will continue steadfastly to fight on to assist and support every person who fights to ensure rights protection or who fights for labour rights or human rights. SERC will adhere to this policy without discrimination and whether or not the person who fights for the rights of workers happens to be Mr. Andy Hall.
We send for your information
(Official Signature and SERC stamp)
Mr. Komsan Tongsiri
State Enterprise Workers Relations Confederation (SERC)