Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Thais urge NZ: please don’t trade with sweatshops

Thais urge New Zealand: please don’t trade with sweatshops

Green Party Co-leader Rod Donald is hosting two Thai campaigners against the so-called ‘free trade’ agreement currently being negotiated between the governments of Thailand and New Zealand.

The duo, law professor Dr Jakkrit Kuanpoth and former sweatshop worker Sripai Nonsee, will be in New Zealand for the week 10th - 17th September. They will speak at the Trade Aid national conference in Christchurch (11th September) before holding public meetings around the country on how a free trade agreement would hurt jobs, wages and working conditions and damage the environment in both countries.

As well as public appearances, the campaigners are available for media interviews. Sripai will also be visiting clothing stores to see for herself the destination of the many brand-name goods made in Thai sweatshops by poorly-paid young female workers like herself.

Christchurch: 13th September, 7:30pm - addressing Public Meeting on ramifications of a Thai-NZ free trade deal. Trade Union Centre, cnr Armagh and Madras Streets.

Wellington: 15th September, 7:30pm - Public Meeting. St John’s Hall, cnr Willis and Dixon Streets.

Auckland: 16th September, 7:30pm - Public Meeting. Trades Hall, 147 Great Nth Rd, Grey Lynn.

Dr Jakkrit Kuanpoth is Associate Professor, School of Law, Sukhothai Thammathirat University.
He holds degrees from the University of Warwick and the University of Aberdeen. He is currently a Visiting Senior Fellow at the Centre for Asia Pacific Social Transformation Studies at the University of Wollongong, Australia. He specialises in international intellectual property law, law and medicine, biotechnology law and international trade regulation. He has advised the Thai government on a number of issues.

Dr Kuanpoth speaks excellent English.

Ms Sripai Nonsee is from a farming family and came to Bangkok to find employment when she was 17. She worked for nine years at Par Garments, a typical sweatshop contracting to manufacture garments for global brand names such as The Gap, Tommy Hilfiger, Wal-Mart and Gymboree.

She was so active in organising workers at the non-unionised factory that at age 20 she became the first president of its union. She was sacked by Par Garments when she tried to help unionise another factory owned by the same company. She now works with NGOs who are helping factory workers organise.

The campaigners are being brought to New Zealand by a number of groups including: the Green Party, NZ Council of Trade Unions, Asia Pacific Workers Solidarity Links, Caritas, Oxfam, Trade Aid, CAFCA, ARENA, Christian World Service, Clothing Laundry and Allied Workers Union, MADENZ, Envision NZ.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>


Corrections Corrected: Supreme Court Rules On Release Dates

Corrections has always followed the lawful rulings of the Court in its calculation of sentence release dates. On four previous occasions, the Court of Appeal had upheld Corrections’ practices in calculating pre-sentence detention. More>>


Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>


General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Our Posturing At The UN

In New York, Key basically took an old May 2 Washington Post article written by Barack Obama, recycled it back to the Americans, and still scored headlines here at home… We’ve had a double serving of this kind of comfort food. More>>


Treaty Settlements: Bills Delayed As NZ First Pulls Support

Ngāruahine, Te Atiawa and Taranaki are reeling today as they learnt that the third and final readings of each Iwi’s Historical Treaty Settlement Bills scheduled for this Friday, have been put in jeopardy by the actions of NZ First. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Damage De-Regulation Is Doing To Fisheries And Education, Plus Kate Tempest

Our faith in the benign workings of the market – and of the light-handed regulation that goes with it – has had a body count. Back in 1992, the free market friendly Health Safety and Employment Act gutted the labour inspectorate and turned forestry, mining and other workplace sites into death traps, long before the Pike River disaster. More>>

Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news