In this chapter we will focus on tourism and labour issues. We will also talk a little bit about labour unions but we will focus on the two mentioned above.
why is tourism so important for Thailand and what happens when it collapses?
(And how to prevent it)
The services sector is one of Thailand’s fastest growing sectors, largely fuelled by the boom in tourism.
Beckoned by the beauty of the country, tourists have steadily generated income for the country since 1882, with tourism posting a growth rate of 16% per year.
In 1988, 7.76 million tourists spent nearly 8 billion US dollar.
In 1992, tourism employed 1,693,005 workers (5.1% of the total labour force).
Tourism is, as you might know already, a big source of income for Thailand.
A lot of people are dependent of tourism and won’t earn money if there are no tourists anymore.
Imagine if there is a terrorist attack, tourism will almost completely collapse, causing a lot of people to either lose their job, earn less or to not be able to work for a few weeks to months.
A way to prevent this from happening is to make sure that people are not completely dependent on tourism. The government could for example make sure that people would have job security so they won’t immediately lose their job when something like that would happen.
Also, one of the negative consequences of Thailand’s tourism industry is prostitution of woman and children. Especially the ones who have no formal schooling or have only finished the first 6 years of schooling.
The law forbids woman under 18 from working in nightclubs, dance halls, dancing schools, massage houses and hotels. There is just not enough government personnel to do inspections.
But if there are not enough people to actually make this law happen, what can we do about it? We might be able to decrease the number of (child-) prostitutes by making sure that schooling is available for everyone. This way, women (and kids) will be educated and have a change of getting a real job and then they do not have to be prostitutes to earn money.
What labour issues are there in Thailand and what are the causes?
(What types of labour unions are there? How can we solve the labour issues?)
In 1999, Thailand had a total of 1087 private enterprise labour unions, 44 state enterprise labour unions, 19 labour union federations, 8 labour union councils, 226 employer associations, 3 employer association federations, and 10 employer councils.
Most employers in the private sector only hire woman because they are cheaper than men. Companies would rather not hire women and give them important jobs because of the attitudes against woman working outside their homes.
Most woman are employed in labour-intensive industries, service and entertainment jobs and in the informal sector.
In general, Thai workers complain about low pay, working hours and insufficient medical benefits.
Especially the textile industry is ‘bad’. There are poor working conditions such as deafening noise, poor lightning, bad medical facilities and there is improper ventilation.
The causes of these problems differ per case so it id difficult to put your finger on the main cause. The best change of finding the main cause is to start at the consequences and work your way up to the thing that causes them so we can eliminate the problem.
One of the first and most difficult things that should be changed is the attitude towards woman. We live in 2015. Women are not just meant to clean the toilet or cook for you at home. They can be successful businesswoman and should not be paid less for doing the same job as man. I think that working in the informal sector in general is a bad thing, it is illegal, and women should be able to just have normal jobs.
But how can we change the attitude? That sure is a difficult job. Trying to change adult minds is fairly difficult so we should focus on elementary school kids. They are the ones who will be ruling in the future. They should learn that everybody is equal, that it doesn’t matter if you’re black or white, gay or hetero, big or small. Learning kids this is the key to having a more equal life in the future.
The next thing to change is the working conditions. Long hours, bad medical facilities, noise. That doesn’t sound like a healthy place to work. But what can we do? The people who are in charge of factories won’t agree with spending money on their employees that easily. Why should they? Those people don’t matter to them. There are lots of other people who want a job, for them it’s no big deal. But what if we could get them to work for one month, in their own factory or company? What if we pay them some money to do that? They have to work just one month but if they drop out they won’t get paid. There’s a big change that after one month their attitudes would have changed and that they will actually do something about the bad working conditions.
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