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The plight of Triumph workers and Jitra Kotchadej has received support from unions in Argentina.We thought PPT readers might be interested in this international solidarity. The report is from El Vecinalista (29 September 2009).
Our Spanish is non-existent, so we hope that Google translate does a reasonable enough translation, despite obvious errors. By the way the designation “Republic of Thailand” below is not a mistranslation for the story says: “Embajador de la República de Tailandia Buenos Aires, 24 de setiembre de 2009 Sr Anucha Osathanond”:
Ambassador of the Republic of Thailand, Buenos Aires, September 24, 2009
Mr Anucha Osathanond:
Through this, the Foundation Alameda and Sewing Workers Union wish to express serious concern at the situation facing workers in the factory sewing Body Fashion Thailand, a wholly owned subsidiary of Triumph International. It is public knowledge, our Foundation has reported 100 domestic clothing brands and international Argentina federal court for not respecting human and labor rights of sewing. In this struggle we have had the support of the Ombudsman of the City of Buenos Aires, the National Institute of Industrial Technology, the Assistant Secretary of Labor of the City, the Catholic Church and Judaica Foundation. In some cases we have achieved that justice process and getting to trial to shop owners and even manufacturers. We are well aware of deseleales practices of many brands of clothing at the time were reported in Southeast Asia and then in Argentina, as was the case of Puma. So no wonder the attitude of the firm that seeks to dismiss The Triumph massively tailors in Thailand and the Philippines. If we are surprised, however, that the Thai government is not making every effort to enforce the law, international standards established by the International Labor Organization (ILO) so that is conforms to the law firm and separation its arbitrary practices against the stitchers of Body Fashion Thailand.
With the greatest respect, the Foundation Alameda and Sewing Workers Union calls on your government to take urgent action to defend and protect the 2000 tailors who are suffering distress and fear of being fired and to uphold the right of his union act according to law.
Basically our demands are:
1. Do not allow unfair practices of the firm Body Fashion International, which these days is arbitrarily changing work schedules and functions of the sewing to force them to resign and leave the factory. It is public knowledge that the true intentions of this factory and The Triumph is a 2000 fire sewing.
2. Do not allow the failure of the collective bargaining agreement and union recognition, which is ignored by the company.
3. Must cease the persecution against the top union leader, Mrs Jitra Kotshadej, who was fired and criminalized court for the crime of thinking differently. It just is chasing her for using a T-shirt in a national television debate in which he said “Those who stand are not criminals. Thinking differently is not a crime. “The caption on the shirt referred to the right of people not to stand when the royal anthem is played and the abuse of lèse-majeste laws to suppress political opposition. We fully subscribe to what reported in due course by the Clean Clothes Campaign in Europe in relation to the case of Jitra Kotshadej.
4. The Thai government has legal and economic instruments to compel the company to repeat the law, the tailors and their union. Should I stop giving subsidies and loans to a company that does not fit right and apply the corresponding sanctions.
5. As set international labor standards, the company must provide unions Triumph of sewing, both in Thailand and the Philippines, any information that substantiates the reasons for which it intends to dismiss more than 4,000 tailors in both countries. This request is consistent with that indicated by indices multinational OECD, ILO conventions and the same code of conduct made by Triumph.
6. The Thai government should ensure that the company allowed the union to conduct union meetings and should withdraw the arrest warrants for union leaders simply by thinking differently.
7. The Thai government should not use the ISA (Internal Security Act) against gatherings, peaceful demonstrations or peaceful union activity developed by the tailors’ union.
8. Sewers are not disposable goods in free trade zones, but men and women who should respect their rights to work and free association, which the company unfortunately the government ignored and not enforced.
Alameda Foundation and Sewing Workers Union pledges to redouble efforts with other NGOs and trade unions from several continents to enforce labor rights and union of tailors working for Triumph in both Thailand and the Philippines. We sincerely hope that the Thai government to intervene in this dramatic conflict and avoid layoffs. We also hope to stop the persecution against union leaders and advocates the right to work, freedom and life.
Gustavo Vera, president of the Alameda Foundation
Nestor Escudero, Polo Textile Workers Union Sewing
Ezekiel Conde representing Soho, Sewing Workers Union