Thailand: Rail strikes against privatisation

Following a wildcat strike which shut down the state rail network on October 31, the rail union is threatening further action if privatisation continues.

Submitted by Steven. on November 13, 2007

The Bangkok Post reported that the State Railways of Thailand (SRT) labour union will resume striking against the Surayud government next month if the authorities fail to meet its demands involving the controversial leases of SRT property to the private sector and revision of SRT privatisation schemes.

SRT labour union chief Riang Khaengkhan said the railway unionists had decided a one-month deadline for government action to meet their demands -- including the decade-long lease contracts of SRT land in the Chatuchak area to the Central Group under which, he said, the loss-ridden state firm had been disadvantaged and deprived of due revenues which may have amounted to tens of billions of baht.

The union head said his colleagues would keep railway passengers least affected by their future movements against the SRT management or the Surayud government, but he neither confirmed nor denied that another round of work stoppage by the union might reoccur in the foreseeable future, following the October 31 wildcat strike which saw railway services coming to an unforeseen halt.

He said the SRT union had by no means pressured Prime Minister Gen. Surayud Chulanont to resign in the face of the government failure to meet its demands.