Impact of Trade Liberalisaton on the Workforce: FTA, ASEAN and ThailandAsian Regional Workshop on FTA: inclusive trade policies n post-crisis Asia9 December 2009 Junya Yimprasert Thai Labour Campaign Network Against Exploitation & Trafficking of Migrant Workers - NAT Migrant Workers Union email: firstname.lastname@example.org • Sources articles: • Race to the Bottom: Exploitation of workers in the global garment industry • ORGANIZING UNDER THE NEOLIBERAL TRADE POLICY OF Special Economic Zone • Thai Labour Campaign Annual Review 2007 • ‘Voter’s Uprising’ that is changing perceptions in THAILAND • ASEAN: Past, Present and Future • Labour Trafficking Business www.timeupthailand.blogspot.com www.thailabour.org
Thai Democracy! Since 1932 the people of Thailand have had to face more than 20 attempted or successful military coups. The people have had to deal with 18constitutions and 27Prime Ministers, most of them military generals. In the 77 years since 1932 only one elected Prime Minister has managed to complete the full 4-year term (the now self-exiled, convicted, embattled ThaksinShinawatra)
Thailand and FTAs • Thailand has always fully participated in the regional and global trade. • Look back in the history, in 1855 Thailand was forced to sign the Bowring’s Treaty with the UK, which was in effect for over 70 years. • After signing with the UK, Thailand had to conditionally sign the same kind of treaties with 14 other countries: US, France, Denmark, Portugal, Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, Norway, Belgium, Italy, Austria-Hungary, Spain, Japan, and Russia.
Thailand workforces • According to the 2003 National Statistic Survey, Thailand has 67,941 villages with 9,388,780 households, in which 5.3 million Households are farmers, mostly small scale farmers. • In November 2009, the Matichon Newspaper gave figures stating that 86.7% of Thai farmers are indebted: 42.8% from agricultural investments and 22.8% from household needs, with an average debt / family of 243 000 Baht (5,000 Euro) , of which 44% of the debt is with private money-lenders. • Thailand has 146 million acres of land, of which 60 million is farmland. The average holding per family is 10 acres, but most small-scale farmers attempt to manage with 5 acres.
ASEAN is different from the EU Thailand as an example
EU is totally rely on employment protection and market economy but ASEAN are rely on living on the natures and food sovereignty culture Most figure is from Eurostat, except on the civil servants, which is using estimate figure , the same as of Thailand
gambling with other people’s lives CLIMATE CHANGE CLIMATE TRADING 100 YEARS of . . . . . . . . . . . . . .worsening poverty Foreign Direct Investment / Export Oriented Industrialisation EOI ‘GREEN REVOLUTION’ deforestation, dams, forced irrigation, cash-crop mono-cultures /GMO EEC NAFTA & AFTA FTA IMF + World Bank GATT World Trade Organisation WTO World War I World War 2 Cold War Neo-liberal capitalism War against civilians ?? 1914-1918 1939-1945 1960ies 1970ies 1989 1992 1995 2001 2003 Revolution struggle struggle fall struggle strengthening in for for of the against grass-root Russia independence democracy Berlin Wall corporate power solidarity League of NationsUNITED NATIONS ILOUNIFEMGENDER MAINSTREAMING
The relocation game of Transnational Corporations (TNCs) has pushed many governments in the producing countries to compete with each other and provide better incentive promotion programmes for the garment industry. • Power is mostly in the hands of the many TNCs who have tried to cut costs as much as possible, and change their production chains to be more effective in achieving shorter production times, faster delivery, less risk, less overproduction or overstock, and cheaper overall production costs.
Brand Current Outsourcing pattern of global Brands! Brand Brand Agents CSR – Codes of Conduct Supply Chain Management GOV’Ts Asia Gov’t only to facilitate trade & investment GOV’Ts Africa Factories Control workers GOV’Ts Latin America Control workers Just in Time production Cheaper/ faster/ longer hours
Li & Fung model of agents • For this kind of customer, we might have to buy fibre from a Korean factory, then dye and weave in Taiwan; thus, we must select fiber and then send it to Taiwan. For a Japanese company, they have the best zip and button but it’s manufactured in China. So we go to YKK, a big zip company in Japan, to order directly from factories in China. Then, we consider the quota system and labour situation, so we choose that final production and garment should be done in Thailand, so we send all the materials to Thailand. Since our customers need on time delivery, we divide orders among five Thai factories…. Within five weeks after receiving the order, 10,000 clothes reach stores or shops in Europe. All the clothes are the same quality and the material seems like it’s from only one factory. This is a new type of value added. It is a real production of the world which we have never seen before. The brand tag says ‘Made in Thailand’ but they’re not Thai products.80 • 80 Supply Chain Management: Hong Kong Style, Harvard Business Review, sept October 1998 Fibre from Korean factory, dye and weave in Taiwan, Zip from China, produce in Thailand [quota and working condition]. The brand tag says ‘Made in Thailand’ but they’re not Thai products. “We do not want to be an important part of the factory. Just 30 percent can make us the biggest customer of the factory. Another aspect we need is flexibility so we need not to have any factory depend only on us. We also gain interest from the factory if it has other customers.”
FTA = SEZs = Economic Corridor • Freedom of association – Collective Bargaining Power • Wage floating • Majority of workers are under ‘unprotected working environment’ • Energy policies - Conflict in the local areas • Relocation of manufacturing • Make-up figures – no people in the pictures • Access and control over natural resources
Thailand/ASEAN FTA www.thaifta.com
FDI Promotion and workers’ rights • BOI said that it has finalized its plans to support investment in Body Fashion (Thailand) Ltd., a lingerie and swimwear manufacturer operating under the Triumph trademark, that now ranks of among Thailand’s most essential productive forces. Triumph is also the biggest manufacturer in the Asia Region. The company plans is to increase its productive force of clothes (i.e. lingerie, swimwear, etc.) to two million items, with a 75.5 million THB in investment in the NakhonSawan Factory. Naew Na Newspaper, World Business News Brief-July 8, 2008 • Triumph Thailand laid off 1,951 high wage/unionised /old age workforce, while receiving BOI’s support with the reason to give employment of 2,000 workers in the cheaper zones/ununionised factory, 300 kms north of Bangkok
Reducing risks, using fewer workers, cheapest wages, no liability, no responsibility, no direct employment, etc. HIGHEST PROFIT/ CHEAPEST COST • SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT FLEXIBILITY CAPITALISTs/ • Increase Production Union Busting advisors/ • Employment in temporary, part-time, contract system Management, personnel • Outsourcing, Mafia, gangsters/ • “Just in time” Supervisors • Informalisation - home based workers • Multi-skill • Subcontracting, pressure on workers/ • Target/ piece rate system • Investment privilege package, EPZs • Increase speed, work like machine, less time to eat, to pee, or to rest. Politician, authorities/ Legal proceeding/ • Deregulation of labour law for investment WTO, -FTA, regional/ bilateral trade agreement, To much OT. No time for education and organizing/ USING VULNERABLE WORKERS, CHILDREN, IMMIGRANTS, PRISONERS
Wage scale in Thailand, 1993 - 2009 7.5 USD 6 USD 4.5 USD 3 USD
Average wages of textile and garment workers in Thailand in difference wage systems Source: Labour Standard Department, Ministry of Labour, Thailand
Forward Looking Building Alternative Sustainable Livelihoods! Labour force 36 mils Level of benefit & security Set back • Highest/ monthly wage • welfare/benefit – family, housing, subsidies • pension program • Credit to commercial bank loan • 5 days/week/ many holiday State Enterprises workers 500,000 prs.= 1.6% Privatisation Welfare State Stop pension system People Party state employed workers 2 mils= 5% Outsourcing/ subcontracting Democratisation • Monthly wage for white collar • mostly minimum wage • minimum welfare and benefit, not cover family • mostly, no pension program • not credit to commercial loan paying 5-20% interest Industrial workers- 6 mils Company/services [hotel, bank, department stores, etc] 4 mils= 10 mills27% Right to hire & Dismiss fully in the hands of employers Social securitysystem Most attempts to CBA are cracked down Regulate labour laws Subcontracted labour/ home-base - 10 mils = 27% • Daily wage – minimum/underpaid • irregular working hour/ • valuable for all kind of exploitation and cheating • no welfare & benefit • no bargaining rights • no credit to commercial loan paying 5-20% interest Protect environment Labour protection & relation laws are outdated Seasonal – farmers/farm 14 mil], construction [2 mil], drivers[1 mil] - 13 mils= 36% Control mean of food production Not covered by labour relation/ protection laws No CBA rights Migrant workers – 2 mils =5% Self-reliance Agriculture Unemployed + elders –1.5+2 mils = 4-5%
ASEAN Economic Community – AEC ASEAN three pillars ASEAN members Gov’t + big economic nations High level gov’t officers Business sectors 1945 ASEAN Human Rights body 1967 Military generals welfare, education?? 36 years Civil society environment USA 2003 High level gov’t officers Labour protection rights ASEAN Security Community – ASC ASEAN Social -Cultural Community - ASCC
To win the support of the people the ASEAN needs to focus on . . • Ensuring that the ‘economy first strategies’ of the last 40 years are replaced by ‘Democracy First Development Strategies’; • Promotingeducation in the principles, tasks and objectives of democracy, with special attention to empowerment of women; • Leading the way in helping people overcome violent, intra-regional conflict; • Supporting the working-class movement for human rights with programmes of re-employment that are aimed at returning dignity to the lives of all workers • Facilitating a major shift from mass-manufacturing of cheap industrial artefacts based on exploitation of the poorest-of-the-poor to making South-East Asia one of the world’s ‘Organic Food Banks’; • Assisting the tens of millions of small-farmer families and dislodged farming families, who still represent the majority of the population, in developing organic markets and building intra-regional solidarity around increased organic productivity.
100 years of Capitalism UNIFEM CSR IWC CEDAW GATT CoC Global Compact ESCR UDHR ILO conventions MDG ILD 1886 1919 1948-49 1960’s 1975 1990 2015 1998 2000 Farmers Capitalism
ORGANIC FOOD FOR THE WORLD ASEAN PEOPLE'S COMMUNITY PEOPLE'S HAPPINESS FIRST BIODIVERSITY PEOPLE’S DEMOCRACY GENDER EQUALITY Pro-Poor policies Freedom of Assembly Social welfare Land reforms Subsidies for organic farming ASEAN International Women’s Day 2011 ASEAN Cross-Cultural Institute Gender education Cross-cultural education ASEAN PEOPLE'S Gender mainstreaming organic Raising public awareness Tools for promoting ASEAN people's cultural values Tools for promoting gender equality FOOD BANK SOLIDARITY MOBILISATION