EU praises push to boost labour rights

EU praises push to boost labour rights

Seafood industry wins plaudits

Cambordian workers are on duty at a pier in Trat province. (Photo: Jakkrit Waewklaihong)
Cambordian workers are on duty at a pier in Trat province. (Photo: Jakkrit Waewklaihong)

The European Union (EU) has praised Thailand's efforts to improve labour rights in its seafood industry under Good Labour Practice (GLP) guidelines.

Giuseppe Busini, deputy head of the EU Delegation to Thailand's mission, on Thursday said the Thai seafood industry has been aiming to improve the quality of life of migrant workers for a more sustainable seafood industry.

The International Labour Organization (ILO) recently unveiled a report on the matter, noting that the Thai Tuna Industry Association (TTIA)and the Thai Frozen Food Association (TFFA) are complying with the GLP programme to improve the lot of migrant workers and support them through welfare committees.

The report also said the associations have been covering employment-related fees to alleviate the financial burden of migrant workers.

They also suggested factories arrange breastfeeding rooms and delegate appropriate duties for pregnant women, the report said.

Pongthiti Pongsilamanee, deputy secretary-general of State Enterprise Workers' Relations Confederation, said the GLP strengthens employee-employer relations under the principles of labour rights and equality.

She said she hopes the seafood industry will support a labour union to help promote sustainable development in the industry.

Boonchob Suttamanuswong, permanent secretary of the Labour Ministry, said the ministry supports the Thai business sector in improving labour conditions.

It will work with the ILO and other networks to strengthen GLP in the Thai seafood industry, as well as other businesses.

Thailand was ranked among the top 10 seafood exporters in the world in 2018.

Last year, the industry exported over 1.6 million tonnes of seafood products valued at US$5.7 billion (200 billion baht), with 600,000 workers in the country.

The GLP was jointly developed by the ILO, Labour Ministry, TTIA and TFFA with support from the EU through the EU-supported Ship to Shore Rights South East Asia programme.

The TTIA and TFFA have 106 firms joining the project to ensure the seafood industry stays in line with international labour standards and Thai regulations, the ILO report said.

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