Hoya Glass Disk (Thailand): a long road to unionisation

GoodElectronics is an international network on human rights and sustainable production in the global electronics industry. The ‘On the spot’ newsletters highlight the work of organisations that participate in the GoodElectronics network. The idea is to provide insight in the activities and strategies of organisations, with a particular interest for such organisations that operate on a grass roots level.

In December 2007, workers at Hoya Glass Disk (Thailand) formed a trade union to better promote the interests of the workers at this plant in Lamphun in the north of Thailand. An initial collective bargaining agreement concerning wages, bonuses, allowances and days of leave was concluded with the management in January 2008. Despite this promising start for a more mature social dialogue, the situation deteriorated with the management first ignoring and later actively campaigning against the union. An absolute low was reached in the summer of 2008 when tens of union activists were dismissed and the union’s registration was revoked. The perseverance of the workers who founded a new union, combined with external pressure by GoodElectronics brought about the involvement of some of the more progressive customers of Hoya Glass Disk (Thailland). This proved a turning point: dismissed workers were reinstated, and management and union accepted to participate in a series of talks and trainings focused on harmonious communication. At the moment, there is genuine hope Hoya Glass Disk will finally accept and work with the union.

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