Ji Ungpakorn on PAD and unions

16 08 2009

Following up on emails he sent to friends and supporters a couple of weeks ago, Ji Ungpakorn now has an article in Australia’s Green Left Weekly (15 August 2009: “Unions should not support Thai fascists”)attacking the People’s Alliance for Democracy and the international unions supporting it.

Ji points out that a little while ago the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) general secretary David Cockroft issued a letter addressed to the Thai government in support of three trade unionists who were said to be facing possible charges for PAD’s siege of the international airport and the domestic airport at Don Muang last year.

Ji describes PAD as a coalition of interests that included “NGO, trade union and social movement leaders” but that “moved sharply to the right, becoming fanatical royalists…”. He adds that some “PAD members have fascist tendencies. Last year, PAD members wrecked Government House and blocked the international airports. Behind them were the army and the palace.” He says that PAD leaders “aim … to reduce the voting power of the electorate in order to protect the conservative elites running Thailand.”

While the ITF apparently quickly removed their statement in support of PAD following negative reactions from readers and members (see here and here), the source of their support for PAD relates to the fact that one of PAD’s leaders, Somsak Kosaisook, remains an adviser to the State Railways Union of Thailand (SRUT), having been its president, and represents the SRUT at the ITF Asia/Pacific Railway Workers’ Section (see the document here).

On union matters, some time ago PPT reported that the struggle against Triumph and its union-busting activities in the region. Readers may find the update at Prachatai of some use, as the workers continue to struggle against the company.

Update: Letters from various unions supporting PAD can be found here.

Unions should not support Thai fascists



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