Fish processing at a plant belonging to Thai Union. (Photo: Thai Union)
Thai Union eliminates recruitment fees to combat labour abuse
Friday, April 29, 2016, 03:30 (GMT + 9)
Thai Union has announced its decision to eliminate recruitment fees for all workers in its factories and processing plants, effective immediately for all future recruitment of workers both from within Thailand and also from overseas.
The tuna processor Group, whose workforce in Thailand is composed of workers primarily from Thailand, Myanmar and Cambodia, explained the move follows Thai Union’s continued development of an ethical migrant worker recruitment policy, which has been welcomed by the Migrant Workers Rights Network (MWRN).
After mapping of all the Thai Group’s factories and processing plants during 2016, MWRN highlighted challenges in recruitment as requiring an urgent response.
Therefore, in recent months Thai Union has been dealing directly and building stronger relationships with recruitment agents in Cambodia and Myanmar in order to follow recruitment processes more effectively, with MWRN providing oversight and supervision.
Commenting on the initiative, Dr. Darian McBain, Global Director of Sustainable Development said: “Thai Union’s ethical migrant recruitment policy has already been applied to the use of agents for all migrant worker registration processes in Thailand, such that our workers cover no additional costs should Thai Union chose to utilize agents for these processes.”
The Director stressed the importance for all employees to have access to safe and freely-chosen employment.
Apart from welcoming the initiative as a way to show everyone that the changes within the Thai seafood industry are possible, Dr. McBain expressed the willingness of the sector to continue to take initiatives to eliminate potential for abuses of labour and human rights.
For his part, MWRN international affairs advisor Andy Hall said that Thai Union was moving openly, cooperatively and quickly to address MWRN’s remaining concerns regarding working conditions of its workers.
“MWRN raised our concerns regarding transparency and cost involved in overseas recruitment processes, and we are delighted Thai Union has agreed with us to follow the international movement towards responsible business practices by adopting a zero recruitment fees policy, Dr. Hall pointed out.
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