On July 3 the JILAF Thailand Office held a Life Support Seminar (LSS) in the northeastern province of Samut Sakhon in Thailand for 28 informal-sector workers (migrant workers, etc.) facing especially difficult conditions with the aim of promoting future community development of the SGRA project (Supporting Grass-Roots Activities through the International Employers’ and Workers’ Network).
At the beginning of the seminar, Mr. Manop, vice general secretary of the State Enterprise Workers Relations Confederation (SERC), and Mr. Teruhiko Sekiguchi, director of the JILAF Thailand Office, gave explanations of the purpose and contents of the seminar and welcomed the new members. Three Japanese attended the seminar as observers, including Mr. Yoichi Yajima, a former expert at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO).
In the seminar, SERC officials gave lectures on such topics as (1) the improvement of household accounts and need for savings; (2) the establishment of an SGRA credit union (mutual-aid and savings group); and (3) the content of Article 40 of the Thai Social Security Act (for informal-sector workers) and subscription procedures. The participants then compiled and presented action plans for the establishment of an SGRA credit union.
Mr. Tharawin, the representative of a migrant workers’ group, commented, “I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the Japanese government, JILAF, and SERC. I will share the content of the seminar with my migrant group [about 5,000 people] and use the information to improve and uplift the livelihoods of informal-sector workers facing especially difficult conditions.”
In addition, on July 8 a follow-up seminar for existing network members was held in the southern province of Surat Thani in preparation for the final registration of an SGRA credit union. The seminar, which was organized mainly by the Surat Thani Working Committee, was attended by 111 informal-sector workers. The participants discussed such issues as the final registration process, name, regulations, and election of officers of the Surat Thani SGRA credit union. (Registration was scheduled to be completed in August 2016.)
|07/03||Sun||Life Support Seminar in Samut Sakhon Province in northeastern Thailand|
|07/04||Mon||7/8 Follow-up seminar in Surat Thani Province in southern Thailand|
Lecture by SERC Vice General Secretary Manop on the establishment of a mutual-aid fund
Address by Mr. Tharawin representing a migrant workers’ group
Scene of the seminar
Participants in the LSS in Kaysone district
Visit to an organic vegetable farm in Kaysone district
The follow-up seminar in Chai Buri district