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© franz pfluegl dreamstime.com Electronics Production | March 29, 2013

Electrolux is not keeping its promises

Workers' rights group GoodElectronics has issued a statement about the ongoing labour conflict at Electrolux Thailand. According to the group, the matter is not yet resolved.
The statement reads:

In January 2013, the Swedish household appliances brand Electrolux made the news for imprisoning and then dismissing a large group of workers. Refusing to negotiate with workers’ representatives, Electrolux management in Thailand locked up over 100 workers for 8 hours, including a pregnant woman, then sacked 127 workers including the local union president of the Rayong plant.

In the past weeks, Swedish union IF Metall has negotiated with Electrolux management to reach a solution for the on-going conflict. Despite IF Metall's intervention, Electrolux perseveres in its fundamentally unfair approach to the workers, union leaders and union members concerned. The dismissed workers were not taken back, despite an agreement reached between management and the union. They were instead offered a "re-employment" contract which would make them re-enter the plant as new workers, including a 119 day probationary period, and the loss of all built-up seniority benefits. The 8 dismissed union leaders and members have not yet been taken back to their former positions.

On March 25, 2013, the Swedish white goods manufacturer issued the following statement:

More than half of the 90 employees who were dismissed following illegal strikes in January have been re-employed or applied for re-employment at Electrolux Rayong plant in Thailand.

Following an initiative by the company to send registered letters offering re-employment to all employees who were dismissed on January the 11th, 32 applied by the deadline of 5:00pm on March 22. Another 14 had already been re-employed. The letters guaranteed re-employment in any available position at the same 2013 salary they were receiving before their dismissal, requiring the applicants to follow Thai law and company rules and procedures.

The current number of people employed at the Rayong site is 905.

None of the eight union officials were dismissed but were suspended on full pay. A reconciliation process has been undertaken between the Company and unions and is still being worked through with the assistance of the local office of the Ministry of Labour.

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