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 oppression.
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.