Thailand: Supreme Court orders compensation for 14 migrant workers accusing Thammakaset farm of labour exploitation

On 15 January 2019, Thailand’s Supreme Court ordered compensation be paid to 14 migrant workers from Myanmar exploited by Thammakaset farm, a subsidiary of the Betagro group. Experts said that this decison is a landmark legal case for migrant workers.

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Article
14 March 2019

Thailand: Supreme Court to consider Thammakaset’s appeal re payment of 1.7 million Thai Baht to compensate 14 ex-workers over labour rights abuses

Author: Fortify Rights

"Thailand: End Judicial Harassment of Human Rights Defenders Nan Win and Sutharee Wannasiri", 12 Mar 2019

Thai authorities should protect human rights defenders from judicial harassment and immediately drop defamation complaints brought by poultry company Thammakaset Company Limited against Nan Win and Sutharee Wannasiri for their involvement promoting labor rights in Thailand, Fortify Rights said today...

Today, Thailand’s Supreme Court will also consider an appeal filed by Thammakaset challenging an order to pay 1.7 million Thai Baht (US$51,470) in compensation to 14 former Thammakaset employees for labor rights violations. In January, the Supreme Court rejected a separate appeal by Thammakaset challenging the compensation order.

“Enough is enough—the complaints by Thammakaset against human rights defenders should be dropped and the order to provide compensation for labor rights violations should be enforced immediately,” said Amy Smith, Executive Director of Fortify Rights. “Thailand needs to take proactive steps to protect human rights defenders from reprisals and employees from labor rights violations.”

On February 14, 89 organizations, including Fortify Rights, submitted a joint letter to Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha calling on the Thai government “to take immediate action to oppose and seek the dismissal of cases filed by Thammakaset” and to develop legislation “that fully protects employees, human rights defenders, and others from judicial harassment.”...

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Article
15 January 2019

Thai top court orders compensation for Myanmar workers in landmark case

Author: Rina Chandran, Reuters

Thailand’s highest court…ordered compensation be paid to 14 migrant workers from Myanmar whose accusations against a chicken farm of abuses sparked a landmark legal case for migrant laborers. 

The workers in 2016 officially complained to Thailand’s National Human Rights Commission about forced overtime, being paid less than the minimum wage, confiscation of passports, and limited freedom of movement. 

But employer Thammakaset farm, which had supplied meat to Thai food conglomerate Betagro, denied the charges and launched a defamation lawsuit, saying the workers voluntarily worked nights and chose to sleep next to the chicken warehouse. 

Betagro, which sells to companies around the globe, later said it had cut ties with the farm.

After a three-year legal battle, the Supreme Court upheld a lower court verdict from 2016 which found in favor of the workers and ruled they must be paid 1.7 million baht ($53,000) in compensation…

A lawyer for the workers said they welcomed the verdict in a country that has been at the center of a slew of slavery and human trafficking cases, including in its seafood sector…

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