Rank Group Shames New Zealand
The Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union is backing international calls for Graeme Hart’s Rank Group to end the harassment of Thai trade unionist Thanetn Jhanluechai*, a plant operator employed by Rank-owned company SIG in Rayong province.
The breakdown in labour relations and the subsequent campaign against Jhanluechai began only after Rank Group took over the plant and following a move by union members to take the Thai New Year off – a holiday they have by right.
EPMU national secretary Andrew Little says the treatment of Jhanluechai by SIG reflects badly on all of New Zealand.
“This region is one that increasing numbers of Kiwi businesses such as Fisher and Paykel are moving into and such an attack on employment rights by a New Zealand-owned company will tarnish their reputations as employers and the reputation of New Zealand as a nation.
“This behaviour has been picked up on by the UNI Global Union and will result in international embarrassment for the company and damage our reputation as a trading nation – Rank need to tell their Thailand management to pull their heads in.
“As the biggest union covering Rank Group workers in New Zealand it is our responsibility to highlight any injustice the company commits against its workers here or overseas and we are particularly concerned about its treatment of Thanetn Jhanluechai.”
The EPMU is an affiliate member of UNI and represents several thousand Rank Group workers primarily at Carter Holt Harvey sites.
UNI has more than 900 affiliated unions in 140 countries representing 15 million members and has organised protests at a number of New Zealand embassies around the world including Bangkok and Geneva.