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Union formed for workers in Thailand’s fishing industry

Undercurrent News, Thailand, 1 June 2018 - Thailand has a new union for workers in its fishing industry, reports the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI), an alliance of companies, trade unions and NGOs that promotes workers’ rights, in a recent blog.

The International Transport Workers’ Federation launched the Fishers’ Rights Network this week, according to ETI, which has endorsed the union. According to ETI, the newly created group is calling for:

  • Elimination of passport, pink card, work permit, broker and recruitment fees;
  • An increase in wages; and improvement in working conditions;
  • Written contracts for all workers;
  • Access to basic first aid training and comprehensive medical kits on board each vessel;
  • Emergency medical procedures on vessels;
  • A code of conduct for operating in Thai waters, and;
  • The ratification by the Thai government to changes that would allow migrant workers to participate in collective bargaining.

Establishing a workers union to enable collective bargaining is one of the steps recommended recently by the Environmental Justice Foundation following reports that the European Union was not yet ready to lift the “yellow card” placed on it in 2015 for a combination of fishing and labor practices.


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