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 Monthly Newsletter - the Second Edition of 2008 [35] KCTU 2008.04.14 179723
58 [ARTUSC] Asian Labour Movement and its perspective:Obstacles to Unity and how to overcome [14] KCTU 2003.11.13 179134
57 [ARTUSC] Anti-War Struggle and the Trade Union Movement [13] KCTU 2003.11.13 177874
56 [ARTUSC] Japanese Militarization Trends and the Korean Peninsula Crisis, Trade Unions Response [14] KCTU 2003.11.13 177551
55 [ARTUSC] Pax Americana under US military domination and the tasks before the Peace Movement in Asia [14] KCTU 2003.11.13 177203
54 [ARTUSC] Challenges of the Southeast Asian Trade Unions against the Regionalisation of Capital [12] KCTU 2003.11.12 177158
53 KCTU Monthly News : June-July Edition(Part One) [41] KCTU 2005.07.19 176812
52 KCTU Monthly News(March, 2004) [10] KCTU 2004.03.17 176683
51 Bro. Jo Jun-Ho's Speech at the 95th ILC, June 2006 [11] KCTU 2006.06.13 175960
50 KCTU Monthly News : May Edition 2005 [17] KCTU 2005.05.20 175818
49 Press Statement of Global Unions Mission to South Korea-Feb.2009 [16] KCTU 2009.03.05 175732
48 [ARTUC] Global Restructuring and Trade Union Strategy [11] KCTU 2004.03.17 175641
47 KCTU Monthly News: November-December 2004 [12] KCTU 2005.01.04 175553
46 KCTU Monthly News - May 2004 [11] KCTU 2004.06.23 175472
45 [ARTUSC] The Impact of Neo-liberal Globalization: Irregular jobs, informal sector work [13] KCTU 2004.03.17 175332
44 Recent Situation of Labour Laws and industrial relations in Korea 2005 update [14] KCTU 2005.02.17 175301
43 KCTU Monthly News - April 2004 [10] KCTU 2004.04.24 175065
41 KCTU Monthly News : August Edition, 2005 [20] KCTU 2005.09.05 174805
40 KCTU Monthly News: August-September 2004 [14] KCTU 2004.12.22 174805
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