CHOMBURI, Thailand (May 6, 2009)—A two-month dispute between Michelin and rubber workers backed by ICEM affiliate Petroleum and Chemical Workers´ Federation at a factory in Thailand ended last week.
The resolution came via tripartite dialogue by the employer, the ICEM, FCE-CFDT of France, and Michelin´s European Works Council.
The dispute ended April 28 when state mediators, PCFT representatives and Michelin´s Laem Chabang, Chonburi Province, plant managers reached a six-point accord that aims to end retaliatory punishment of 383 of the plant´s 1,500 workers and ends a lockout that began March 25.
Provincial mediators from Chonburi´s Labour Protection and Welfare Office got both sides together, but April 20, local managers refused to rescind a 35 percent punitive pay cut.
The union then proposed acceptance of the 13 percent cut for all until October 2009, but called on Michelin to pay a 2008 two-month bonus that the company had already announced.
Workers agreed to end mass protests at Michelin´s plant gates, and the company agreed to reinstate all workers who had been victimized by local management for refusing to withdraw their names from a petition circulated in early March. That petition called on management to engage in consultation with workers and PCFT representatives before implementing a 13 percent wage cut.