08 April 2009 11:06 [Source: ICIS news]
SINGAPORE (ICIS news)--French tyre maker Michelin had to reduce the working hours of employees at its three Thailand factories this month to avoid lay-offs amid a difficult operating environment, a company spokesperson said on Wednesday.
From 1 April, the company only requires its employees in Thailand to work five days instead of the usual 5.75 days as Michelin deals with dwindling tyre demand from a severely battered automotive industry, said the spokesperson.
“We don’t want to lay-off at all, so we have to take all other alternative actions,” the spokesperson said.
Michelin’s move to cut the working hours of its employees, which was equivalent to a 13% forced salary deduction, has sparked protests from about 400 employees at its Laem Chabang factory.
The International Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mine and General Workers' Unions (ICEM) has told ICIS news on Tuesday that nearly 400 workers have been protesting outside the factory compound since 25 March.
Michelin’s Laem Chabang factory employs 1,500 workers while its other two tyre manufacturing facilities in Saraburi and Samut Prakarn has a total of 2,800 names on its payroll, according to ICEM.
“The Michelin management has done everything possible to be open and to listen to these workers,” the company spokesperson said.
The company remains open to all discussion with employees to resolve the ongoing labour dispute, she added.
The spokesperson confirmed that some workers who did not agree to the salary cuts were refused entry into the Laem Chabang factory on 25 March.
“As there were a group of people who were not agreeing with this measure (the wage cut), we had to stop them from entering the compound to protect the other employees,” she said.
The Laem Chabang factory is operated by the Michelin Siam Group Co Ltd, a partnership formed in 1988 between Thai conglomerate Siam Cement Group (SCG) and ?xml:namespace>
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