Garment workers strike ongoing in Thailand

Garment workers on strike

Garment workers continue their fight against the sacking of a union leader in Thailand.

A two week strike by hundreds of Garment workers in Thailand is ongoing.

Workers at Body Fashion Thailand, the Thai manufacturing arm of lingerie company Triumph, struck over the sacking of union leader Jitra Kotchadej for publicly wearing a tshirt supporting those who refuse to stand for the royal anthem, which is regularly played before the showing of films, plays and live music in Thailand. In April 2008 it was reported that charges were being pressed against an individual who refused to stand for the anthem in Bangkok.

The triumph workers demand the re-instatement of Jitra, the sacking of anti-union officials, and that no disciplinary or legal proceedings be taken against strikers. So far, the company has agreed not to punish strikers, but has refused the other demands.

Jitra has been unable to challenge the labour court's backing of her firing, as the appeal period has expired. However, she states that she was never properly informed of their decision.

Rattled BFT boss Kenneth Marshall has attempted to mobilise nationalism against the strikers, telling the Bangkok Post that production was being transferred to other countries. He told the paper that workers were having a severe impact on the firm, and that ''this means a loss of income to Body Fashion and export volume for Thailand'. He refused to disclose the amount of income lost, but the low-paid garment workers are clearly depriving the company of profits worth much more than their wages.

Workers claim that the sacking of Jitra is part of a wider smear campaign against organised labour on the part of the company. Rallies have been held infront of the factory, at the company's headquarters in Bangkok, and at Government House. Bras were thrown into the grounds in protest at officials' refusal to accept the petition for reinstatement. Blockades have been built of the factory in Bang Phli, and of the industrial estate.

The union demands that German executives come to Thailand to meet the workers in person, however, it has been reported that the foreign execs completely reject bowing to any of the workers key demands.

Posted By

Aug 15 2008 14:51


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