Sat, 27/06/2009 - 20:39
After many members of Triumph International (Thailand) Labour Union had heard rumours that workers may be dismissed, and also that Triumph International factories in other countries have been temporarily shut down, the Human Resources Manager of Body Fashion (Thailand) Ltd., Mr. Prayoon Wonglek, has just notified workers today that Saturday and Sunday, 26 and 27 June, are special holidays, so they don’t have to come to work because of the reduced quantity of work. Workers will still get their wages as usual. Workers are to return to work on 29 June.
The company would also like to negotiate with Triumph International (Thailand) Labour Union at a meeting on Saturday at 3 pm at Samut Prakan Provincial Labour Office. The union therefore called members to a rally in front of the company at Bang Phli Industrial Estate, Bang Sao Thong District, Samut Prakan Province on Saturday morning.
Triumph Company Plan to Lay off Workers.
Triumph Labour Union were verbally informed by Mr. Prayoon Wonglek, Human Resources Manager on 22 June 2009 that Triumph International has several plans to lay off workers (the union has recorded the telephone conversations as evidence). An official notice will be given to each worker directly by Mr. Leonardo Innocenzi.
The company’s plans are:
The company has scheduled a meeting with all workers on June 27, with Triumph Labour Union, the workers union and the management union, and attended by provincial labour officers to inform everyone about the plan.
On 29 June, the company will transport all workers to the Bangkok International Trade Exhibition Centre (BITEC), with breakfast arranged for all workers to have a last meal with the management team. Mr. Leonardo Innocenzi and Mr. Kenneth Louis Marshall will report on the company’s situation, claiming that Body Fashion (Thailand) Limited has been accumulating a deficit since 2003, and now the company has no orders, and is unable to pay wages, bonuses and all other benefits to all workers. The also claim the cost of production is increasing due to rising prices of raw materials, etc.
In order for the company to survive, they have to downsize the organization and lay off 50% of their workers. Triumph’s head office, the warehouse in Theparak and the packing department in Khlong Khud will be relocated to the main plants in Bang Phli.
On 29 June, the company will give every worker a white envelope containing a letter to inform workers about their status; some will be notified that they are dismissed, and the others will be informed to return to work on 1 September.
The company will pay two months salary (July-August) to those who are dismissed, and will pay compensation money in September. Those who continue to be employed will receive 75% of their salary for these two months until the company reopens in September. (The company will make use of the labour protection law that in case of temporary closedown due to loss of business, a company may pay only 75% of salaries to workers during the closedown period.)
In the conversation, Mr. Prayoon told union members that if there is any obstacle to the plan, Mr. Spisopher, the owner of Triumph, will shut down the company in Thailand without paying any compensation.
Situation inside the factory.
Immediately on 22 June 2009, the union demanded more explanation from the management. Mr. Kenneth Louis Marshall has been trying to avoid meeting the union and finally set a meeting date in the afternoon of 24 June 2009. However, this has been postponed to June 27.
Ms. Wanphen Wongsombat, president of the Triumph union, has submited a letter of notification to Ministry of Labour officials on the situation.
Starting on June 23, Triumph workers started gathering to discuss this news, some in tears. However, the workers are demanding to work overtime to meet export schedules.
The union has conducted meetings with all their rank and file leaders so that they can inform all production line members about news of the layoff.
At the moment the union has received no official letter from the management regarding this news.
Reported by Jittra Chochadet, Triumph union officer
23 June 2009
Triumph International (Thailand) Labour Union
June 20, 2009
Subject: Rumours of massive layoff
Dear Mr. Kenneth Louis Marshall,
We, Triumph International (Thailand) Labour Union, have heard rumours from our members at different levels, including officers, foremen, and some management, that workers are going to be dismissed. We have repeatedly heard this rumour and also about Triumph factory closures in other countries. The rumour is making workers worried and unenthusiastic about working because it leads to job insecurity.
Therefore we demand that management report on the current situation of the company, whether the rumours are true or not and explain why. The reasons given must be acceptable. It is not acceptable to claim that the economic crisis requires the layoff of old workers, members of the labour union, and workers with occupational-related sickness. We hope that the layoffs will not happen, as the company has a good code of conduct.
In order to lay off workers fairly and not to use the economic crisis as an excuse to destroy Triumph International (Thailand) Labour Union or change regular employment into contract or sub-contract employment, we should reach an understanding between both the management and workers to prevent problems in the future. We therefore present to management the following demands in the event of layoffs or factory closure:
1.Declare the date of the layoffs, the reasons, and a list of workers who will be laid off, at least 60 days in advance of the layoff.
2.Make an agreement between the company and the labour union to ensure that the layoffs are fair.
3.Accept applications from workers who voluntarily accept layoff
4.Pay extra compensation in line with Article 118 of the 1998 Labour Protection Act to workers who have worked continuously for more than a year at the rate of their last wages, by paying thirty days per year of work.
Miss Wanpen Wongsombat
Triumph International (Thailand) Labour Union
cc.1. Labour Federation of Garment and Leathers Industries
2. International Textile, Garment and Leather Workers’ Federation (ITGLWF)
3. Head, Prvincial Labour Protection Section, Samut Prakan
4. Director-General, Labour Protection Department
5. Mr.Markus Spiesshofer
6. Mr.Leonardo Innocenzi
7. Ms.Ursula non Gunten
8. Ms.Veronika Stossun
9. Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC)