Thai Labor Museum in Bangkok is a tribute to laborers. It tells how the laborers in the country have evolved. It throws light on their hard life.
Statue of Pushing Wheel
Statue of Pushing Wheel is a veritable masterpiece of Suraphol
Preechawachira and his associates. The statue is dedicated to laborers'
self-esteem and self-respect. The sculpture shows a form symbolizing
male and female workers pushing forward a wheel, and crushing an army
tank. This indicates that the labors would achieve victory on
In the Museum
Visitors start their tour from a multi-purpose hall. The hall acts as a
souvenir shop and also functions as a meeting room and temporary
exhibition space. A huge traditional painting here tells about the
evolution of the Thai working people. The picture depicts a blaze which
claimed 188 lives of the Kader Toy Factory. The painting is a fine
introduction to the essence of the museum. Main hall in the museum is
dominated by an old rickshaw. It makes us aware of the tragic life of
rickshaw pullers at those times.
Slavery in Thailand
Thai Labour Museum tells about the period of slavery in Thailand. Since
the 1700s, slaves and commoners or Phrai were forced to work without
wages. The working conditions were abysmal. The Bowing Treaty in 1855 in
the reign of King Rama IV opened up trade and increased pressure for
reform. In 1873, King Rama V abolished slavery, a watershed in the
history of Thai labour. The event has been recorded in the museum.
Thai Labour Museum is housed in a single storey red building near the
Makkasan railway station. The building once housed the railway labour
union office. However, in October 1993, it was converted into a museum.
The distance from Makkasan junction to the museum is about 750m.
How to Reach
Reach the Pratunam junction. Move northwards along Ratchaprarob Road
till you reach the Makkasan junction. You would see a level crossing and
near it the museum.
Labor museum is open everyday from 10:00 am to 04:30 pm except on
Mondays and Tuesdays. Admission is the museum is free. However,
donations are welcome.