THE THAI Journalists Association today (Feb. 6) called for the investigation of a TV channel after an employee died at his desk upon having to work very hard putting in overtime without pay and being deprived of days off, Amarin TV and Matichon newspaper said.
The unidentified 40-year-old deceased man, whose death was announced on the Facebook page Chor Dub, was alone responsible for scheduling of two TV channels while employed by one of them. He had asked that an additional employee be roped in to help with the workload but this request was not met.
Although he was not a prominent person, he had been with this TV channel since the days it was still a cable TV outlet but with the digital transition his workload got increasingly heavier.
Mr. Teeranai Jaruwat, the association’s vice president for rights, liberties and media reform, said the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission’s broadcasting and television business committee and the Labour Ministry should investigate whether or not this TV channel had complied with appropriate work process and labour laws.
Teeranai added that at present the media industry still had a work culture that tended to violate labour laws in many areas with this especially applying to the digital TV industry that is highly competitive.
Violations include making staff work overtime without pay, working consecutively without rest and not allowing them to take holidays and leave.
“This is a problem that people in the media industry have always known and it happens all the time. This issue therefore deserves attention and should be resolved in a concrete way soon,” he said.
Meanwhile, Labour Minister Suchart Chomklin said he had ordered an investigation of the employee’s death and advised workers being taken advantage of by their employers to immediately notify the Department of Labour Protection and Welfare.
However he pointed out that the department could only take action after complaints were filed because if officials raided companies without being informed the staff would not cooperate in giving any information.
Top: The dead employee’s desk. Photo shared on Chor Dub Facebook page.
Front Page: Labour Minister Suchart Chomklin, left, and the dead employee’s desk, right. Photo: Matichon
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