JELI’s Newsletter June 2021

Welcome to JELI’s first monthly newsletter! We have been working hard to support app-based workers and promote labor justice in Thailand’s growing gig economy. Below you will find the most recent updates related to the work we have been doing here at JELI.


ReclaimVaccines (for front line gig workers)

JELI launched the #ReclaimVaccines campaign to bring attention to the lack of COVID protections available to essential workers at the height of this pandemic. On June 8th, gig workers including app-based delivery drivers, domestic workers, and massage therapists gathered in front of the Government House and submitted a letter to a representative of the Prime Minister, demanding 5 COVID protections:

  1. Make COVID tests free and easily accessible
  2. Prioritize the distribution of vaccines to essential workers on the frontlines
  3. Waive the costs of COVID-related hospitalizations
  4. Distribute immediate pandemic relief payments without hurdles
  5. (In the long-term): Change the classification of app-based workers to match their working conditions so that employers are required to provide employee benefits

LINE Man Workers Protests

JELI has been supporting LINE Man delivery drivers as they organize under the Freedom Rider Union demanding a livable wage and better working conditions. LINE Man drivers from Ayutthaya, Angthong, Singburi, Chachoengsao, and Chonburi started protesting on June 1st at the company’s headquarters in Bangkok, and submitted a letter to the Ministry of Labor on June 4th. Partial strikes were also organized by delivery drivers in Chonburi later in the month.

Demanding a Government Budget for the People

On June 22nd, JELI joined the Workers’ Union as they protested in front of the Government House demanding that the budget bill for the 2022 fiscal year be amended to reduce the suffering of workers who have been affected by the COVID pandemic. “The budget comes from the people’s taxes, so the budget should benefit the people.”


Our research on Thailand’s on-demand food delivery platforms and its workers is now available in English. Read it here.

This study presents the results of some primary research on Thailand’s on-demand food delivery platforms and its workers. It is a follow-up to an introduction to platform-based work in Thailand, published in 2018. Both studies were conducted by the Just Economy and Labor Institute (JELI) and supported by FES Thailand. The authors provide in-depth information on employment relations, analyze key actors and their business strategies, explore the mostly precarious working conditions, and recommend much-needed policy changes: on the legal status of riders, their organizing ability and collective bargaining power, on increased responsibility and accountability of platform companies and on steps to better health and safety.


Blogs and Media Stories

Blog Post: “JELI pushing forward the National Task Force on Gig Workers”

This article gives an overview of issues that arose during the workshop seminar “The Platform Economy: Workers Shaping the Future of Employment”, which took place earlier this year. Attendees discussed solutions to combat the unfair employment status of various gig worker groups, long-term policymaking and the establishment of a working group to review legal protections from the government sector, and the direction of the labor movement as a whole. Find the English version on our website here.

JELI in Thai Media

JELI’s work has been featured in various Thai news media outlets throughout the month of June, such as Spectrum, Backpack Journalist, The Active, Thai Act, and Decode.


The Active x JELI Podcast

The first episode of our podcast series in collaboration with The Active is out now! On this episode, JELI researcher “Neap” Chonthita Kraisrikul and “P’Jit”, representative of an app-based domestic workers group, discuss the economic, social, and public health impact that COVID has had on gig-workers, as well as the #reclaimvaccines campaign demanding protections for these essential workers. You can listen here (in Thai).

JELI On Clubhouse

Why are app-based delivery drivers protesting? On June 25th, JELI joined representatives of the Freedom Rider Union on Clubhouse to discuss the unjust working conditions delivery drivers must endure and the changes they are demanding from their employers. Follow @kteerako and @chonthita on Clubhouse to stay tuned in for future conversations.

New to the JELI Team

Rose Schweis

Rose is a recent graduate of Southeast Asian Studies and Human Rights from UC Berkeley, and will be interning with JELI for six months. She is also involved in feminist organizing on the issues of sexual violence and exploitation.

Worakamol Ongvanich (Khim)

Khim is a youth activist from the Thai Volunteer Service (TVS) project who will be interning with JELI from 2021-2022. Her interests include labor issues and the democracy movement.

Take Action

Protect Freedom of Association in Thailand

A new draft law in Thailand is the newest attempt by the government to clamp down on civil society groups and non-governmental organizations, and poses a direct threat to freedom of expression and association in Thailand. It would require all non-profit organizations (local civil society organizations, international NGOs, grassroots groups, etc.) to register with the Ministry of Interior, with no guarantee of approval. Failing to do so could lead to imprisonment of up to 5 years imprisonment or a fine of up to 100,000 THB (approx. 3,200 USD). Further, this law targets foreign funding, and gives broad powers to Thai Authorities to surveil offices without a warrant. Click the link below to sign the petition to oppose the draft law.

Sign the Petition