Union ups demands for ministry temps

A government workers union has vowed to stage a prolonged protest against what it labels as unfair working conditions affecting temporary and contracted workers at the Public Health Ministry.
Osot Suwansawet, president of the Government Employee Union of Thailand (GEUT), yesterday led a rally outside the ministry headquarters.
The group said it came to follow up on a six-point demand issued to the ministry earlier, which was aimed at improving working conditions and long-term professional security for contracted staff.
The workers in question are temporary workers and staff contracted either on a daily or monthly basis in 56 health support fields.
Mr Osot said demands were put forth to the ministry some time ago, although he insisted they have not been implemented.
He urged Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul to respond to the demands for the sake of job security and better working morale of workers.
The union appealed to the ministry to hire the temporary and contracted workers using the central budget, not the subsidy granted to state hospitals to departments as it is now. The subsidy was prone to trimming or being withdrawn altogether, which could result in an uncertain future for the workers.
The group also wants the short-term employment contract lasting up to four years scrapped in favour of a longer contract that expires at the age of 60. The union alleged several workers have had their four-year contracts unfairly slashed to yearly ones.
In addition, Mr Osot urged that all temporary and contracted workers be granted long-term employee status to do away with working and welfare discrepancies that exist.
The GEUT leader also said temporary and contracted workers based in Yala, Pattani, Narathiwat and five districts in Songkhla, which are in a high-security zone, should receive risk allowances, as do state officials.