Supporting better labour rights in Thailand
The ALD SOUTH Group and ALDI Nord joined 45 other organisations composed of NGOs, trade unions, multi-stakeholder initiatives, and companies, in sending a letter to the European Commission urging the European Union to require labour reform in Thailand as a precondition to the resumption of trade negotiations with the Thai Government.
EU-Thai trade negotiations began in 2013 but were suspended because of Thailand’s May 2014 military coup. Since the March 2019 elections, the EU has indicated that it sees the end of Thailand’s formal military government as an opportunity to re-engage on trade negotiations with the Thai Government.
The signatories emphasised in their letter that Thailand’s weak labour laws fall short of international standards and a history of severe labour rights abuses such as forced labour, discrimination against migrant workers, and violations of freedom of association. Such failures pose serious risks for us as buyers of goods and products from Thailand and ALDI is determined to fulfil its responsibility to respect human rights throughout our global supply chains. The letter calls for the European Union to require Thailand to commit to a set of robust human rights conditions prior to restarting trade negotiations.
“For the global implementation of the UN Guiding Principles, it is particularly important that the strengthening of workers' rights and appropriate standards for employment practices become an integral part of trade agreements. Human rights and sustainability should already be firmly anchored in these agreements.”
Erik Hollman, Director CR/QA International of ALDI Nord