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.