CHONBURI PROVINCE, Thailand (April 14, 2009)—The International Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mine and General Workers' Unions has intervened in a lockout dispute at Michelin's Laem Chabang tire factory in Chonburi Province, Thailand.
The Global Union Federation (separate from ICEM), together with French trade union affiliate CFDT, brought the matter before Michelin's European Works Council and Michelin group manager Jean-Dominique Senard at an EWC meeting in Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain March 31.
The lockout of 383 workers by local management was triggered when staff refused to withdraw their names from a petition against imposing 13-percent wage cuts and to engage in consultation with the workers, ICEM said.
The petition also called on Laem Chabang managers to stop forcing employees to sign acceptance forms on the wage cuts.
According to ICEM, Michelin responded to the petition by suspending eight worker representatives and imposing a 35-percent pay cut on workers who refused to withdraw their names, then March 25 locking out 383 of 458 workers who signed the petition.
"This is extreme and harsh behavior against loyal workers from a company that expects to recover from the global economic crisis," said ICEM general secretary Manfred Warda. "We have no choice but to demand that the EWC take action."
The plant employs 1,500 and produces auto and light truck tires.