Swedish Electrolux negotiates with demonstrating Thais

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Swedish company Electrolux, a global leader in household appliances, has found it self in somewhat of a storm in its productions in Thailand.

Representatives from Electrolux in Sweden, together with IF Metall, is headed for Thailand to negotiate with the workers who were forced to leave Electrolux factory last month. More than 100 people were laid off and eight of nine in the union were suspended after a dispute over wage levels at the plant.

It all started when Electrolux refused to negotiate with workers’ representatives, and management in Thailand locked up over 100 workers for 8 hours, including a pregnant woman, then fired 127 workers including the local union president of the Rayong plant.

Demonstrations against the decision is now outside a government building in Bangkok, according to IF Metall. Meanwhile, Electrolux encourages workers to apply for their jobs again. Some have already been rehired, according to Electrolux.

“It is difficult to make sense of the situation here, there are different versions of what happened,” sayes Erik Andersson, international secretary of the union IF Metall.

The union has had several meetings with management in Sweden and agreed to go to the factory. On Monday IF Metall will meet the workers and on Tuesday and Wednesday negotiations with the company is planned.

“I have high hopes that we can find a common solution,” says Erik Andersson.

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