JELI’s Newsletter September 2022

In September, JELI has good news! We welcome a new member who has joined our team to strengthen the trade and migration program with a special focus on anti-SLAPPs with workers activists and trade unionists. JELI also hosts grassroots groups from across the country in our event organized to share the baseline survey findings on situations, challenges, and organizing activities of the gig workers. Based on this exciting progress, JELI will work more closely with the grassroots to design campaigns for the protection of their rights and recognition of their status in the coming months of 2022.



JELI is continuing to implement the Global Labor Project – Platform for Organization by Workers for Empowerment and Recognition (GLP-POWER). On 9 September 2022, JELI held an event to disseminate findings from this project’s research, with participants from various sectors including delivery riders, domestic workers, massage therapists, and sex workers. Other researchers, mass media organizations, and civil society groups also joined the event to comment on the research, including Rocket Media Lab, HRDF, and Empower Foundation.

The research considered four aspects: workers’ relationships with platforms, contentment with working conditions and terms of work, the urgency of challenges and proposed solutions, and attitude toward collective actions. From a survey of more than 550 workers from 19 provinces, it identifies workers’ most pressing issues: power differentials between platforms and workers; and dangerous occupational health and safety. This finding echoes the aforesaid worrying trends in safety and health concerns among platform workers in Thailand.

One of the most important findings in this survey is perhaps concerned with the perception of workers on the urgency of challenges. It is worth noting that, although respondents appear to be discontent the most with the areas of pay, costs of services, and welfare, the workers say that the most urgent issues to be addressed are rather occupational health and safety, emergency assistance, and lack of transparency (e.g. absence of contracts and arbitrary changes of rules).

However, we found that 35% of workers have not engaged in organizing activities with their fellow workers due to various limitations such as lack of strong leadership, fear of retaliation by the platform company, or lack of information. This research was very useful for JELI and grassroots organizations, for further work to advocate for the protection and recognition of gig workers.

Workshop and Training

Study Group

On 22 September, JELI joined an online study group on “Methods of Organizing Cleaning Workers”, held by the cleaning workers branch of the Workers’ Union. The study group focused on exchanging work experiences with the Network of Thai Domestic Workers (NTDW), and coming up with ways to organize and strengthen the bargaining power of cleaning workers, custodians, and temporary workers. JELI also exchanged information on promoting the inclusion of online platform-based domestic workers.
Around 10 labor leaders in platform work shared what issues they face in their work and possible solutions to these issues. They also discussed approaches to organizing a sustainable labor union such as how to conduct organizational management and collect membership dues.


On 26 September 2022, Dr. Kriangsak Teerakowitkajorn Managing Director of JELI participated as a speaker in the online seminar organized by Thai Worker Justice for All: “Protecting Riders: Problems, Solutions, Organizing, and Next Steps to Drive the Issue.” In the discussion, Kriangsak talked about the importance of protecting riders under labor law through establishing a legal relationship with the company as an employee, not an independent contractor.


JELI in Foreign Media

The German media Südostasien wrote on JELI’s research results regarding women care workers in Thailand.

You can read the article in German on their website, or read the original research “Centering the Agency of Women in Thailand’s Platform-based Care Economy” (English) on the JELI website.

New Article Disclosing JELI’s Work

Dr. Kriangsak Teerakowitkajorn from JELI wrote an article “Desiring A Strong Movement: Understanding the Discontent of Thai Platform Workers” to analyze the problems facing platform-based workers (or gig workers), and to propose that workers must organize and collectively bargain to achieve better working conditions. You can read the article (English) here

New to the JELI Team

JELI’s Knowledge Management Officer

We would also like to introduce a new team member Akrawat Siripattanachok, who will be working as the Knowledge Management Officer (OKM) of JELI. Akrawat studied economics for his bachelor’s degree at Thammasat University, and political economy for his master’s degree at National Chengchi University in Taipei. He was a political activist calling for elections during the junta period and participated in the #Milkteaalliance campaign. Before joining JELI, he worked as an assistant at a political party.