Trade Unions and Solidarity with People/Social movement Sectors : With a Focus on the case of Thailand

Somsak Kosaisuk
The State Railway Workers's Union of Thailand, Thailand

Good Morning ladies and gentlemen

The president of Korea Confederation of Trade Unions, KCTU, and all delegates from all over the world. My name is Mr. Somsak Kosaisook, the general secretary of State Enterprises Workers Relations Confederation, SERC and general secretary of the Labor Coordinating Center, Chairman of the International Transport Workers Federation of Thailand and president of the State Railway Workers Union of Thailand. I would like to thank to the KCTU to assist me to pay for my way to come here. On behalf of my members, 250,000 members, I would like to congratulate you for holding such important event. It is the issue of the world today that workers face the same situation which is the globalization. The multinational companies have passed the policies through their governments and then political parties. Such policies mean that the government dissolved the laws which normally have built the security for the public.

For Thailand, the labor movement has been fighting against privatization since 1997. That year, Thailand faced the most serious economic crisis. The government opened free money market, which caused unemployment over 3 million people. More than 50, 000 companies were closed down. This kind of issue indicated that globalization only means to hurt, harm and exploit the workers.
For this reason, it made the labor leaders from all over the world must join hands to fight against the globalization. For example, the World trade Organization, WTO meeting in Seattle, U.S.A. and the last one in Mexico. Such protest, the WTO meetings could not make any progress and at the end failed. Currently, multinational companies now have tried to use other forms of meeting such as APEC meeting which was organized in Bangkok, Thailand recently. The strategy the Thai Labor Movement has been fought against privatization and military doctrine by using the way to improve the situation in Thailand which mean that the Thai society must be democratic meaning democracy in political, economic and social. People basic rights must come first. The rights to obtain the information, and news, rights to express, rights to organize, right to protest because these rights are the basic human rights according to the United Nations Convention.

To fight against the military doctrine, in Thailand people organized themselves to fight against the military doctrine for at least the most important ones were three events. The first event was on October 14, 1973, the second one was on October 6, 1976 and the third one was on May 17-21, 1992. For this event, it has reduced the military power. The tactics that we use to fight are as following:

1. Finding way to get the information from the government and use the right to be able to participate in expressing the views on behalf of the workers.

2. Bring back the information that receives from the government and education the people who work with us and other coalitions and allies. By doing that is the way to come to the conclusion and able to mobilize to fight and protest together.

3. To bring the demand to the government. If the government does not bring into practice, we will hold the protest to push the government to do it. By doing that, we have to do according to the situation and what can be done at that point. For example, we organized the protest against privatization of the state enterprises, we have fought against that since 1989. We were able to make the government delay on that issue more than ten years. Even though some state enterprises have changed into cooperate companies, however, the government still maintains ownership of those state enterprises more than 65%. In some state enterprises, the government still holds 100% ownership. At this point, SERC still continue to fight against privatization.

The trend of coming back of the military dictatorship which can be seen the person who has pushed for this type of form is the United State of America, the president Gorge W. Bush. He used the crisis on September 11, 2001, the terrorism of World Trade Center in the U.S. He created the situation so he could start the Irag War by using the world terrorism which created by some group of people. President Gorge W. Bush recommended that all over the world, there must be the laws established to get ride of those international terrorism. The aim is to enable the U.S. to establish the military base in all regional all over the world. All these matters will only harm and violate the human rights.

During the WTO meeting on September 9-14, 2003, and during APEC meeting in Thailand on October 20-21, 2003, The Thai Labor movement and NGOs gathered and protested in many forms. We printed the posters declaring that Gorge W. Bush the real criminal. We protested in front of the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand against the idea that the U.S. will establish the military base in Thailand. At the same time, we campaign to get the public to understand, the World Bank, IMF, WTO are being the tools of the multinational to exploit the workers. We educate the people to understand that globalization can not solve the world problems. It will only create the gap between the rich and the poor. The rich are only small group of people, but the poor are the majority of the population.

Therefore, being coordinating and join hands of all unions all over the world are very important to fight against the monopoly of the capitalism. We all have to do it now and have to continue to fight in the future as well. We must stop the globalization and the military power. We can say that the danger that has been exploited us today have been created through the government. It can be indicated that the businessmen use the political system to get the state power and authority to introduce the laws that will provide the mean for them to gain benefits. Now, it is time for the labor movements all over the world must have its own political parties and send the candidates to run for the positions so they will be entitle to the state authorities. It means that they can introduce the laws they want which will be justice and able to protect the rights of workers and general public. It will be according to the social democracy.

Solidarity and fraternally
Total 99
No. Subject Name Regdate Hits
59 KCTU-MTU Presentation Paper for the Side Event on Rising Repression against the Migrant Workers KCTU 2008.08.02 104442
58 Bro. Jo Jun-Ho's Speech at the 95th ILC, June 2006 KCTU 2006.06.13 104454
57 Dump Truck Drivers on Strike over Implementation of New Construction Equipment Legislation KCTU 2008.07.15 104484
56 KCTU Flyer for the ILO Conference, June 2006 KCTU 2006.08.05 104486
55 STATEMENT FROM WORKERS KCTU 2006.10.24 104487
54 KCTU Policy Paper on the KORUS FTA KCTU 2006.08.02 104499
53 Protest Letter to J.W. Howard, Australian Government, Nov 30 KCTU 2006.11.30 104511
52 [Joint Statement] We denounce the political killings and suppression of workers in the Philippines! KCTU 2007.08.10 104541
51 National Human Rights Commission of Korea Release Statement Regarding Death of Ha Joong Keun KCTU 2006.12.03 104614
50 KCTU Monthly Newsletter - the First Edition of 2008 KCTU 2008.03.04 104688
49 KCTU Monthly News - May 2004 KCTU 2004.06.23 104761
48 KCTU Monthly News: November-December 2004 KCTU 2005.01.04 104777
47 Recent Situation of Labour Laws and industrial relations in Korea 2005 KCTU 2005.02.17 105028
46 [ARTUSC] Anti-War Struggle and the Trade Union Movement KCTU 2003.11.13 105306
45 [ARTUSC] Asian Labour Movement and its perspective:Obstacles to Unity and how to overcome KCTU 2003.11.13 106053
44 [ARTUSC] Japanese Militarization Trends and the Korean Peninsula Crisis, Trade Unions Response KCTU 2003.11.13 106679
43 [ARTUSC] The Impact of Neo-liberal Globalization: Irregular jobs, informal sector work KCTU 2004.03.17 106759
42 [ARTUSC] Challenges of the Southeast Asian Trade Unions against the Regionalisation of Capital KCTU 2003.11.12 106994
41 [ARTUSC] Pax Americana under US military domination and the tasks before the Peace Movement in Asia KCTU 2003.11.13 107749
» [ARTUSC]Trade Unions and Solidarity with People/Social movement Sectors KCTU 2003.11.12 108129
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