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  1. #126
    Thailand Expat harrybarracuda's Avatar
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    It's time the EU and the US started clamping down on companies that commit violations like this.

    They'll soon do something when it starts hitting their bottom line, the greedy little fuckers.

    Mr Hall left Thailand in 2016, citing intolerable legal harassment after another company, poultry producer Thammakaset Farm, sued him in another case, but still works on labour rights issues concerning migrants in Thailand.
    “This verdict is a major setback for rights of human rights defenders, migrant workers, labour/migration activists and researchers everywhere and casts a dark shadow over recent positive progress the Thai government and Thai industry has made to improve migrant worker conditions,” Mr Hall commented Monday on his Twitter account.
    The reputation of Thai companies has been tainted in recent years by allegations of labour abuse, especially in the fishing and seafood industries. Several companies in that sector have worked with Mr Hall to try to improve conditions, fearing sanctions from countries that take Thai exports.
    “The big issue in Andy Hall’s case is this is an active attempt to try and discourage independent research into company supply chains in Thailand, and this should be a serious concern to all foreign investors who are sourcing production in Thailand,” said Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director of Human Rights Watch.
    “When problems in their supply chain are brought to light, companies like Natural Fruit or Thammakaset Farm can so easily sue and ruin the life of an activist to try to keep them silent. It has a chilling effect on this type of research. It has a chilling effect on the freedom of expression in Thailand,” Mr Robertson said.
    The Associated Press
    Bangkok Court Finds Labor Activist Andy Hall Guilty in Civil Defamation Suit | Chiang Rai Times English News Paper

  2. #127
    Thailand Expat harrybarracuda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CSFFan View Post
    I think its geared towards protecting Thai businesses regardless of the realities of any situation. Should someone expose Thai businesses not acting ethically hurts Thailand's image and image is everything.....

    It boils down to $$$$$$$.

    Hit them where it fucking hurts.

    Western companies are starting to respond to bad publicity like this.

    "The big issue in Andy Hall’s case is this is an active attempt to try and discourage independent research into company supply chains in Thailand, and this should be a serious concern to all foreign investors who are sourcing production in Thailand,”

  3. #128
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    For example: So long as consumers in the West buy tinned John West Tuna , canned on prison labour in Thailand at £3 for 4x250g tins there is no hope...

  4. #129
    Being chased by sloths DJ Pat's Avatar
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    So they are using slave labour after all then

  5. #130
    Thailand Expat harrybarracuda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chittychangchang View Post
    For example: So long as consumers in the West buy tinned John West Tuna , canned on prison labour in Thailand at £3 for 4x250g tins there is no hope...
    I wonder how many people know it's owned by Thais though?

    That's why the publicity is important.

  6. #131
    Hangin' Around cyrille's Avatar
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    Pretty sure that must be for 160g cans, and cost more than £3.

    In any case, the fact is these days the consumer will go for the best deals. It's incumbent on law makers and law enforcement to help prevent worker exploitation, and in this case that clearly has not happened.

    Thailand is a global player in business, and needs to grow up from being a tin pot third world dictatorship built on exploiting the poor and lining the pockets of the rich.

  7. #132
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    I think this is what you are referring to...

    Thai tuna factory to pay $1.3 million to migrant workers after strike


    By Asian Correspondent Staff | 1st March 2016 |


    Pic via Twitter: @Atomicalandy

    THAI tuna factory Golden Prize Canning agreed to pay US$1.3 million (48 million baht) to its more than 1,000 primarily Burmese workers yesterday evening.

    This comes after the factory workers staged a massive strike last Thursday to demand compensation for unpaid wages and to protest other abuses. Hundreds of them also gathered at the local labor protection office to seek help from the authorities.

    The pressure seems to have worked.

    After the strike, negotiations took place between company representatives, workers’ group leaders, government officials, and military officers, culminating in yesterday’s agreement.

    The head of the province’s labor department, Boonlue Sartpetch, told AFP that the “company began paying 1,100 workers last night involving money of 48 million baht.”

    Migrant workers in Thailand, many of them Burmese, are frequently paid unlawfully low wages, and are said to be subjected to a myriad of abuses.

    Some see the surprising payout and settlement to be part of the Thai government’s efforts to avoid trade sanctions – in particular, import bans on Thai products.

    The United States enacted a law that bans imports of goods produced by forced or child labor last Wednesday – coincidentally right before the strike. Also, Thai fish and shrimp are among the products flagged by the U.S. Department of Labor as possibly manufactured by slave labor.

    Andy Hall, a human rights activist who has been aiding the workers, called the payout “very unprecedented.”
    “To get a dispute like this that involves so much money and actually have it settled is very unprecedented,” he told AFP.

    He gave credit for the settlement to the leaders of the workers.

    Thai tuna factory to pay $1.3 million to migrant workers after strike

  8. #133
    Thailand Expat harrybarracuda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyrille View Post
    Pretty sure that must be for 160g cans, and cost more than £3.

    In any case, the fact is these days the consumer will go for the best deals. It's incumbent on law makers and law enforcement to help prevent worker exploitation, and in this case that clearly has not happened.
    Your point is correct, but there are still a large number of consumers in the West that make their purchasing decisions based on ethics not discounts.

    Hence the fact that you can see the Fairtrade logo on a number of goods in most supermarkets.

  9. #134
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    Quote Originally Posted by harrybarracuda View Post
    there are still a large number of consumers in the West that make their purchasing decisions based on ethics not discounts.
    There are.I'm one of them.

    ...Wish I had a Soda Stream. Bourbon and soda is a nice break from bourbon and water. Unfortunately my principles prohibit me from getting one.

  10. #135
    ความรู้ลึกลับ HuangLao's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by harrybarracuda View Post
    Your point is correct, but there are still a large number of consumers in the West that make their purchasing decisions based on ethics not discounts.
    This might be so to a degree, but probably not nearly the large number that is considered based upon fashionable political/social illusion.
    There is most certainly nothing special or enlightened about "Western" consumers of any kind.
    Numb and catatonic as any average consumptive collective.

    Get real.

  11. #136
    Thailand Expat harrybarracuda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HuangLao View Post
    This might be so to a degree, but probably not nearly the large number that is considered based upon fashionable political/social illusion.
    There is most certainly nothing special or enlightened about "Western" consumers of any kind.
    Numb and catatonic as any average consumptive collective.

    Get real.
    Yeah Jeff, prattling on again about something you don't understand. Twat.



    In a busy north London supermarket the weekend before Christmas, the meat aisle is a hubbub. Sarah Rymer, 32, picks her way through a shelf of whole chickens. She chooses a free-range bird.“I’ve definitely become more conscious of what I buy in the past few years,” she says. “It can be confusing, but I think it’s worth the money.”

    Ms Rymer is one of an increasing number of shoppers driving the UK’s £81.3bn market for ethical products and services. According to not-for-profit consultancy Ethical Consumer, the sector has grown by more than £40bn since 2008, with households spending an average of £1,263 on ethical goods last year. The ethical food and drink market alone was up 9.7 per cent compared with 5.3 per cent growth in 2015.
    Last edited by harrybarracuda; 27-03-2018 at 05:33 PM.

  12. #137
    Hangin' Around cyrille's Avatar
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    Not disputing the assertion that there is a growing market for ethical food in the UK, but I'd have thought most ethical tuna would be based on the way it's caught rather than whether or not the workers in the cannery are getting screwed.

    So the strength of the demand varies with the product. For things like coffee what the pickers get paid matters to fair trade, but this applies less to some other goods.

    The story below about the aforementioned John West, for example, is all about the blue tick being awarded...and is all about the fish. (And JW sucks on that score too...)

    https://www.theguardian.com/environm...s-to-eat-tesco

  13. #138
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    The world’s largest tuna company Thai Union and environmental campaigners Greenpeace on Tuesday called a ceasefire on their acrimonious and long-running conflict to launch a joint agreement on tackling unsustainable andexploitative practices in the seafood giant’s operations, as well as the wider fishing industry.
    After almost two years of high-profile clashes, the two organisations presented—in a joint press release— a set of new commitments that Thai Union will undertake to address challenges such as indiscriminate fishing methods, labour and human rights violations, and the abuse of a practice known as transshipment.

    FOOD & AGRICULTURE

    Thai slave-crewed fishing boats shift seas to evade law


    Read now


    In the context of the seafood industry, transshipment refers to the practice of transferring catch from large ships at sea to smaller boats which then bring the products to shore, and unload them at ports.
    Transshipment is a commonplace and legal practice in the seafood and other shipping-related sectors, and can have logistical benefits such as delivering cargo to ports that are too small for large vessels to dock at, allowing companies to deliver cargo that is customized to the needs of specific locations, and getting supplies to a higher number of destinations.
    But the practice can also be abused. For instance, large vessels that remain at sea for long stretches of time can avoid avoid scrutiny at ports and customs authorities, and if workers on board large vessels are being exploited, they are unable to seek recourse with authorities on land. If supply chains logs are not properly maintained, it can also make it difficult to determine whether the tuna arriving at port is legally caught or illegally done.
    To tackle these issues, Thai Union has adopted a set of more than 20 commitments to reform its operations.
    Two key fishing practices that Thai Union has committed to reducing are the use of fish aggregation devices (FADs) and longline fishing.
    FADs are devices used to lure fish to a specific location in the ocean. One form they can take is a floating structure with ropes dangling into the water. Small marine plants and crustaceans gather on these lines, which in turn attract fish. When enough fish have gathered, they are commonly harvested by dropping a large net known as a purse seine into the ocean, which scoops up all the fish.
    While effective for fish-catching, green groups and government agencies alike have warned that FADs pose a risk to sea turtles and marine mammals, which can get entangled in the FAD’s ropes. To minimise the risk of this, global non-profit International Seafood Sustainability Foundation recommends measures such as not using mesh in the FAD and constructing the devices out of natural materials.
    Longline fishing, meanwhile, is the practice of stringing out a fishing line which is as long as 150 kilometres and has thousands of hooks along it. It is a labour-intensive practice that could be linked to worker exploitation, and can also result in the unintentional capture of sharks, seabirds, and sea turtles.
    Thai Union’s new sustainability plan includes a commitment to slashing FAD use by half by 2020, while doubling the amount of FAD-free fish in the market over the same period. It will also ensure that independent observers are present on all its longline vessels to ensure there are no labour abuses, and prioritise a more pole-and-line fishing technique for its North American market.
    To verify that its labour practices are free of exploitation or abuse, Thai Union will develop an auditable code of conduct for vessels across its global supply chain by next January. It will also develop a plan to get its labour issues audited by a third party, and share these results publicly.
    As for transshipment, Thai Union already has a moratorium on buying from transhipping vessels, unless they can prove they comply with certain conditions. But it will now extend this to its entire tuna longline supply chain. It will only buy tuna from longline vessels that have human observers on board to assure the company that no environmental, labour, so social abuses have taken place.
    The company will also source only from vessels that have spent a maximum of nine months at sea before docking at a port, so that its crew can access port services. These commitments are in addition to Thai Union’s ongoing SeaChange sustainability strategy.
    Thiraphong Chansiri, chief executive officer, Thai Union, said in a statement that the company “has fully embraced its role as a leader for positive change as one of the largest seafood companies in the world.”
    Thai Union and Greenpeace will meet every six months to assess progress and implementation, and conduct a third-party review at the end of next year.
    Sarah King, oceans strategist, Greenpeace Canada, told Eco-Business that it decided to pause hostilities against Thai Union because of the company’s commitment to achieving reform throughout its global supply chain.
    “Thai Union’s commitments are a result of talks with Greenpeace based on our requests to companies to ensure their supply chains are more sustainable and socially responsible,” she noted, adding that Greenpeace’s multi-year, global campaign against Thai Union and its brands also led to this move.
    The campaign has included actions such as having Greenpeace’s Esperanza ship chase a Thai Union supplier’s boat to deliver a cease and desist letter; removing the company’s John West brand canned tuna from supermarket shelves in London, and a public petition signed by more than 700,000 people.
    While the campaign was ongoing, Thai Union dismissed these claims as lacking evidence, and said that it was a “nice target for Greenpeace to have” due to its international reach.
    Greenpeace’s King acknowledged the latter point, saying that “Thai Union is a keystone actor in terms of the impact of its business on ocean ecosystems”. Other players in the industry, from fisheries to retailers, and food service companies, need to make similar commitments to responsible sourcing, she added.
    Bunny McDiarmid, executive director of Greenpeace International, noted that Thai Union’s commitment represented “huge progress for our oceans and marine life, and for the rights of people working in the seafood industry”.

    Greenpeace and Thai Union reach ceasefire on sustainable tuna | News | Eco-Business | Asia Pacific

  14. #139
    Thailand Expat harrybarracuda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyrille View Post
    Not disputing the assertion that there is a growing market for ethical food in the UK, but I'd have thought most ethical tuna would be based on the way it's caught rather than whether or not the workers in the cannery are getting screwed.

    So the strength of the demand varies with the product. For things like coffee what the pickers get paid matters to fair trade, but this applies less to some other goods.

    The story below about the aforementioned John West, for example, is all about the blue tick being awarded...and is all about the fish. (And JW sucks on that score too...)

    https://www.theguardian.com/environm...s-to-eat-tesco
    The only reason companies sign up for things like this is because they are afraid of how negative publicity will affect their bottom line.

    It's a growing movement, but there's a long way to go.

    Not everyone wants to pay a bit extra if they can't really afford it.

  15. #140
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    Farang Ky Ay's Avatar
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    Keeping in mind what happened with Thai fisheries sector (threat of a ban by UE unless they dramatically change their habits), I think authorities can't have that happening to canned fruits sector... better kill the hype by judging it was all false allegations, misunderstanding whatever before the UE want to have a look on the issue and try to compel the sector to stop it's abuses.

    Once bitten twice shy

  16. #141
    Thailand Expat misskit's Avatar
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    Thai appeals court dismisses case against British activist

    BANGKOK (AP) — A Thai appeals court on Thursday vindicated a British labor rights activist entangled in a years-long legal confrontation with a fruit-packing company after he publicized alleged human rights violations at its factory.
    The legal victory for Andy Hall was welcomed by Amnesty International but is not necessarily the end of protracted court battles that forced him to leave Thailand in 2016.


    A criminal defamation and other cases against Hall stemmed from a 2013 report he researched for Finnish consumer organization Finnwatch that alleged labor abuses at Natural Fruit’s pineapple canning operation. It employed migrant workers from Myanmar who said the company abused them and broke labor regulations.



    Sunya Joongdee, a lawyer for Hall, said Thursday’s court ruling dismissed the criminal defamation case, which also resulted in the collapse of a related computer crime case.


    He said the court accepted that Hall’s interviews with migrant workers revealed allegations of rights violations that should be made public. Hall was found guilty of criminal defamation in 2016, fined and given a suspended prison sentence.


    Natural Fruit, owned by businessman Wirat Piyapornpaiboon, can appeal to the Supreme Court. Other cases brought by both sides as the legal battle escalated are still before the courts.


    On Twitter, Hall said he had previously lost hope of justice but now a “flame was reignited in my heart.”


    “There is still the possibility that today’s verdict could lead in some way to peace and reconciliation,” he said.


    Amnesty International’s Thailand campaigner, Katherine Gerson, said the ruling should be followed with law changes that prevent companies using the courts to harass activists who campaign against abusive corporate practices.


    “This successful appeal is very welcome, and it underlines how the original conviction against Andy Hall was an abuse of justice that should never have been allowed,” she said in a statement.
    Finnwatch also welcomed the ruling.


    https://www.apnews.com/99ff0aabf6144...itish-activist

  17. #142
    ความรู้ลึกลับ HuangLao's Avatar
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    ^ There's hope yet.
    A little crack in the wall.

  18. #143
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    Farang Ky Ay's Avatar
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    They can't deny the truth for too long, it's a great news. Hopefully this verdict will affect other(abusive) complaints from the company (eg. damage claim).
    This would be a good occasion to review the criminal defamation law to prevent such abuse...

  19. #144
    ความรู้ลึกลับ HuangLao's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Farang Ky Ay View Post
    They can't deny the truth for too long, it's a great news. Hopefully this verdict will affect other(abusive) complaints from the company (eg. damage claim).
    This would be a good occasion to review the criminal defamation law to prevent such abuse...
    ...or, do away with such ridiculous defamation laws in general - as there's quite a number of categories that apply under the same regulatory umbrella.
    Everyday person-to-person slander, computer/online associated, Criticism of government or elite circles, whistle blowers, literary/journalistic accounts, lese majeste or anything made-up to be associated with the royals, etc, etc.....

    All, in which, can fall under the same vague defamation laws.

  20. #145
    Thailand Expat misskit's Avatar
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    Thailand: Fruit Company Drops Defamation Suit Against Labor Activist

    A Thai pineapple processing company on Wednesday dropped a $9.6 million civil defamation lawsuit against British labor rights activist Andy Hall, who in a 2013 report alleged that workers were exploited and abused at one of the firm’s factories.


    Natural Fruit Co. Ltd. dropped its lawsuit on the second day of what was to be a three-day trial, said Finnwatch, an NGO that published the report seven years ago.


    “The prosecutor’s lawyer submitted a request to withdraw the case because the related criminal case was final and the company’s board of directors honored it by not further proceeding with this case,” a Nakhon Pathom Court sheet said.


    Hall, who fled Thailand in 2016, on Wednesday welcomed the withdrawal of the lawsuit even as he faces another civil trial later this year on a separate defamation complaint.


    “Some good news. Today Natural Fruit unilaterally withdrew its 300 million baht civil prosecution case against me at Nakhon Pathom Court,” Hall, who lived in Thailand for more than a decade, told BenarNews via a text message.


    “But after years of ongoing judicial harassment that has taken a heavy toll on me, my family and my colleagues, this withdrawal of one case against me is not a victory,” Hall said. “My activism for over a decade in Thailand was intended only to promote and uphold the fundamental rights of millions of migrant workers in the country.”


    Finnwatch’s executive director praised the move.


    “Today’s withdrawal of the civil defamation case filed by Natural Fruit against Andy Hall is the only logical course of action. The Supreme Court has already ruled that Hall was not guilty as charged on the same facts as this case,” said Sonja Finér in a Finnwatch news release, referring to the court clearing him of criminal charges.


    “There is an urgent need for Thailand to reform its defamation laws and step up human rights protections.”


    In 2012, Hall conducted a survey among workers at the Natural Fruit Co.’s plant in southern Thailand and alleged the company abused some of its 800 workers – mostly from Myanmar. Hall’s research was on behalf of Finnwatch for its 2013 report, “Cheap Has A High Price.”


    After the report was released, Natural Fruit filed two criminal defamation complaints based on its publication and Hall’s interview with Al Jazeera while in Myanmar. The Thai Supreme Court found him not guilty of both complaints, ruling the report served the public benefit and his interview was outside of Thai jurisdiction.


    Another case


    Natural Fruit had filed two civil complaints against Hall – one in the Nakhon Pathom court that was withdrawn on Wednesday and one filed with the Phra Khanong Court, in which the company demanded 10 million baht ($320,000) in damages.


    Finnwatch said the Phra Khanong case stems from Hall’s 2013 interview with Al Jazeera and is based on Natural Fruit’s allegation that he intentionally harmed the company’s reputation. The ruling on this case is scheduled for Dec. 23, the NGO said.


    Hall fled Thailand in November 2016, two months after he was convicted of defaming National Fruit and violating the nation’s Computer Crimes Act. The Bangkok South Criminal Court had sentenced Hall to three years in prison and fined him 150,000 baht ($4,800).


    Finnwatch said Hall, who could be sent to jail if he returns to Thailand, continues to focus on migrant workers’ rights across Asia.


    For his part, Hall said his intentions were good.


    “I never intended to harm any legitimate business interests through my work and remain genuinely open to reconciliation with all those who may feel aggrieved by my campaigning style, to put an end once and for all to this continued irrational cycle of litigation against me and my colleagues,” he said.

    Thailand: Fruit Company Drops Defamation Suit Against Labor Activist

  21. #146
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    A great example of the swiftness of the Thai "judicial" system.

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