Unionists and activists in court

10 07 2013

PPT has posted on the trial of unionists and activists before (see here), going back to our earliest days of this blog. Watch the news for the court outcome.

THAILAND: Court to read verdict in case against human rights defenders

July 10, 2013

A Statement from the Asian Human Rights Commission

 On Thursday, July 11, 2013, the verdict in the case of three human rights defenders —  Jittra Kotchadej, Boonrod Paiwong, and Soonthorn Boonyord — will be read at the Criminal Court on Ratchadaphisek Road in Bangkok. The charges against the human rights defenders stems from peaceful protests they held calling on the government to take action to protect labor and human rights in 2011. If convicted, they could be sentenced to a maximum prison term of five years and/or a fine of up to 10,000 baht. The prosecution of Jittra Kotchadej, Boonrod Paiwong and Soonthorn Boonyord indicates a grave threat to the rights of citizens to take action to protect human rights and livelihood in Thailand.  The Asian Human Rights Commission calls on all those in Bangkok interested in the protection of human rights to attend the reading of the verdict as observers and for all others to closely follow developments in this case.

Background: On August 27, 2009, Jittra Kotchadej, Boonrod Paiwong, and Soonthorn Boonyord were part of peaceful protests requesting the government’s aid in the case of the dismissal of 2,000 workers by Triumph International. With approximately 400 women workers from several labor unions, they protested in front of Parliament and Government House in Bangkok. Prior to the protests, they had submitted petitions to then-prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva regarding the mass dismissal of workers and asking him to protect workers’ rights. They were protesting as they had not received a response from the prime minister.

In response to the protests, the police used a Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD), which makes a very loud and painful noise, to attempt to disperse the protestors. Over a year after the protests, the public prosecutor charged Jittra Kotchadej, Boonrod Paiwong, and Soonthorn Boonyord with violating Articles 215 and 216 of the Criminal Code in Black Case no. Or 620/2554. Article 215 of the Criminal Code states that “If the offender is leading an act , he/she shall be punished for the maximum of five years imprisonment or fined not exceeding ten thousand baht or both.”Article 216 of the Criminal Code states that “hen an official orders any person assembled under section 215 to disperse and such person does not disperse, he/she shall be imprisoned for the maximum of three years or fined for the maximum of six thousand baht or both.” This means that the three human rights defenders could be sentenced to a maximum prison term of five years and/or a fine of up to 10,000 baht.

This prosecution of Jittra Kotchadej, Boonrod Paiwong, and Soonthorn Boonyord represents a significant threat to the rights of citizens to peacefully protest and defend human rights in Thailand.

Triumph unionists on trial

24 08 2012

PPT is a little late posting this, but it is important. The Human Rights Lawyers Association asks that observers attend the trial of Triumph International Labour Union members. We have posted before on this case. See posts here and here.

23-24 and 28-30 August 2012 at the Court Room no. 809, Criminal Court, Bangkok

Any interested persons are invited to attend the trial of the case stemming from the demonstration of Triumph International Labour Union members. Its prosecution witness examination will be conducted from 23 August 2012 and 24 August 2012(morning), and defence witness examination on 24 August (afternoon) and 28 – 30 August 2012 at Court Room 809, Criminal Court, Ratchadapisek, Bangkok.

Ms. Jitra Kotchadej, Ms. Boonrod Saiwong and Ms. Sunthorn Boonyod, three unionists, are prosecuted by the Special Criminal Litigation Division, Office of Attorney General, for assembling of ten people upwards to commit any act that has breached public order. They are accused of being core members who have stimulated other people to commit the crime. Also, they are accused of resisting the order of officials to stop the wrongdoings (violation of Sections 85, 215 and 216, Penal Code).

The demonstration took place on 27 August 2009 in front of the Government House and Parliament as a protest against the massive layoff of workers by the company. The government was urged to address the workers’ grievances.

On that day, the police used Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD) making very loud noises in an attempt to disperse the defiant demonstrators. Such a harsh response to the demonstration has yielded strong condemnation from fellow activists and a demand was made for the revocation of the arrest warrants against the workers. The government and the National Human Rights Commission were urged to carry out an inquiry into the alleged abuse committed by the police officers. Instead, the public prosecutors have decided to press ahead with prosecution against the labour activists. The witness examination shall commence on the aforementioned date, time and venue.

For more information, please contact:

Khoomklao songsomboon: +66 86 785 6665

Human Rights Lawyers Association (HRLA): +66 2 693 0682

Abhisit’s regime attacks the right to assembly and association

3 04 2011

Prachatai has a short but important story on the trial of three unionists, including Jitra Kotchadej.

The case, which has some international attention, sees further challenges to the right to peaceful assembly and association by the Abhisit Vejjajiva regime.

The trial will take place from 15 November 2011.

On 28 March Jitra, an advisor to the Triumph Labour Union,  Boonrod Saiwong, Former Executive Secretary of the Triumph Labour Union and Sunthorn Boonyod, staff member of the Labour Union Center had their first hearing.

Prachatai reports:

The defendants are accused of violating Section 215 and 216 of the Penal Code which stipulates against the “gathering of ten people upwards to do or threaten to do an act of violence, or do anything to cause a breach to the peace…and being the manager or the person having the duty to give orders for the commission of the offence…and when the official orders the persons assembled together to disperse, the persons refuse to do so”. The Black Case no. Or 620/2554 was filed by the public prosecutor of the Division of Special Prosecution 10, Office of the Attorney General.

The unionists demonstrated at Government House with 1000 others on 27 August 2009.

It is said that the “arrest warrants issued later have drawn outcries from rights activists and the National Human Rights Commission has been asked to come out to defend the right to peaceful assembly and association and to inquire over the violation of civil rights by the police.”

PPT doubts the NHRC has the necessary independence to deal with this.

Still persecuting opponents

29 01 2011

Sombat: dangerous opponent

Prachatai has two stories, seemingly unrelated, but both indicative of the fact that the Abhisit Vejjajiva government is repressive to the core, hounding those perceived as political opponents with legal cases (that’s what Abhisit means when he speaks of the “rule of law”).

The emergency decree was lifted in Thailand more than a month ago. However, that hasn’t prevented the continued persecution of red shirt activists. According to Prachatai, Sombat Boonngamanong has “received a second indictment for violating the emergency decree.”

This is clearly a further attempt to intimidate the innovative and popular red shirt leader. Prachatai states that: “According to the public prosecutor, on 18 May 2010 at 1.50 pm, Sombat made a speech on stage under the expressway at Din Daeng while tyres were being burnt and the smoke disturbed the public.” So he is “charged … for joining a political gathering of 5 or more people, blocking traffic and disturbing public order in an area where an emergency had been declared. The Bangkok North Municipal Court accepted the case and scheduled the examination of evidence for 18 March.” Sombat already faces two similar cases related to peaceful rallies in May 2010.

Dangerous opponents of the regime!

The second case relates to a case being brought against Jitra Kotchadej, Bunrod Saiwong and Sunthorn Bunyod. These three are leaders of the Triumph International workers laid off in 2009. They are now being prosecuted for “gathering and causing unrest … at Government House and Parliament on 27 Aug 2009.” Yes, in 2009. It is reported that the “public prosecutor brought them before the Criminal Court to be remanded.” They posted bail thanks to a Chulalongkorn University lecturer and a Puea Thai Party MP. They are scheduled to appear before the court in late March.

For a flavor of the workers’ activism, see this earlier post.

As PPT has long said, this is a deeply conservative and reactionary government.

What the mainstream media won’t report I

31 12 2010

The Bangkok Post makes a pretty good effort at listing several local stories that simply didn’t get enough coverage this past year.

Triumph workers protest

Their first pick is a good one, and is one that PPT posted on several times (here and here), but not in 2010 and is headlined: Struggle not over. It refers to the long struggle by garment workers laid off by Body Fashion Thailand, the production arm of swimwear giant Triumph International.

The workers … took the case to court. They also staged a rally in front of the Labour Ministry…. Body Fashion Thailand (BFT) later agreed to give the workers 400 sewing machines to help them make an independent living. The donation was made through the Paitoon Kaewthong Foundation to avoid red tape. Mr Paitoon is a former labour minister and Democrat MP for Phichit.

The second unreported story is of lantern fire balls for a king’s birthday government-hosted celebration that almost caused the incineration of the National Museum and fell on Wat Phra Kaew, the National Theatre and Thammasat University. Burning down the symbolic center of royal power might not be meritorious at all.

The third story is of a villagers’ protest that involves growing rice on a 10-rai site in Prachuap Khiri Khan as a symbolic protest against the planned construction of a 500 million baht smelting plant by the giant Sahaviriya Group.

A fourth story carries the headline Unsung reds.

The red shirt protests from March to May have inevitably been listed as the top news story for 2010 by every Thai media outlet, and Time magazine included the uprising in its top 10 world news stories of the year. But most of the news coverage has focused on the key figures heading the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship and the government’s handling of the situation. The fate of lesser-known red shirts in the aftermath of the May 19 dispersal has been under-reported….

Stories about red shirts detained or killed during the riots can usually only be found on alternative media such as the Prachatai online newspaper or the pro-red shirt Voice TV network.

Abhisit flip-flops

The stories under-reported in the mainstream media include Amornwan Charoenkij who sold flip-flops at red shirt rallies and was arrested and charged with violating the emergency decree by selling products with “provocative messages.” The fact that the emergency decree wasn’t in effect in Ayudhya where she was arrested continues unreported, even in this story…. This story of an authoritarian farce was the subject of several posts by PPT. A related red shirt story mentioned by the Post involves red shirts imprisoned in Mukdahan, many of them on groundless charges. Some became suicidal. PPT has covered some of these reports, often drawing on the brave but always threatened Prachatai.

The fifth story is headlined Eviction fight and involves the Thong Lor slum community “fighting against eviction despite its occupation of the area for 50 years.” They face big money and the corrupt police who make a fortune “regulating” crime and entertainment in the area.

In a post later today, PPT will post its own list of stories the mainstream media shied away from, deliberately downplayed or neglected for political reasons.

Asian Transnational Corporation Monitoring Network statement on military crackdown

24 05 2010

Doris Lee, from the Asia Monitor Resource Centre and Coordinator of the Asian Transnational Corporation (ATNC) Monitoring Network sens this to PPT:

We strive through solidarity of trade unions and labour organizations across the Asian region, to raise workers’ democratic say at the workplace and in society. For this, we do joint research, campaigning, and training work.

ATNC has made this statement of solidarity with Thai people seeking democracy and against police repression. It is attached in English and Thai (see below).

Previously we have demonstrated in solidarity also with Triumph laid-off workers in Thailand and Philippines.

In Hong Kong, several members intend to submit the statement in a protest at the Thai consulate on Tuesday morning 9:30 a.m.


The ATNC Monitoring Network is outraged by the blunt military crackdown of the Abhisit [Vejjajiva] government against its people to end the political tie-up in Thailand. On April 10, the government used state forces to eject the protesters, instigating armed fighting by both sides and 24 were killed and more than 800 wounded. Between 13 and 17 May, according to the government at least 35 people were killed, all civilians, and at least 232 wounded. On May 19, the government stormed the barricades of the protesters with tanks and full weaponry. Until now more than 80 people have been killed and 2,000 injured, including civilians and international journalists.

We strongly condemn the government’s actions and use of live ammunitions against unarmed civilians.

One does not forget the bravery of the Thai people who since 1973 have been struggling for freedom, democracy, justice and equality with their lives. They are crushed once again by the ruling class, whether it is represented by the Thaksin [Shinawatra], [Samak] Sundaravej or Abhisit government, which masks its neo-liberal domination with parliamentary democracy.  As a regional network of trade unions and labour organisations fighting against neo-liberalism and capitalist exploitation, we stand in support of all the working people and labourers in Thailand to fight for real democracy that will achieve political and economic justice for them rather than a ploy of the interests of the ruling class.

Despite the political divisions and tension, the civil society organisations, trade unions and NGOs in Thailand are struggling to give a voice for justice to the people and their struggle. We support their appeal telling the international community that:

–       Rather than amending the real social contradictions of the Thai economy, the military coup back in 2006 was an illegitimate curb on democracy in Thailand resulting in the aggravated political mobilisations that further divided the country; and

–       Beyond the political division and complications, the people’s demonstrations in Bangkok and other provinces are to express their legitimate frustration and grievances against the existing mode of parliamentary democracy dominated by the partisan interests of the ruling class; the Abhisit government’s use of military force and live ammunitions against the demonstrators is an outrage that must be condemned.

We are particularly concerned with the oppression against the civil society, freedom of speech and association that is likely to follow after the crackdown in the name of “anti-terrorism”.  We strongly urge the Abhisit government to:

–         Immediately provide assistance and protection for all Thai people including those injured or bereaved due to the violent clashes

–         End the state of emergency and submit all government actions to the legal system and its checks and balances

–         Immediately end all restrictions of the media

–         Appoint an independent commission to investigate the murder of innocent civilians by Thai military forces

–         Peacefully negotiate with the protesters, towards effecting a government with an elected mandate.

–         Protect the freedom of assembly, freedom of collective action and collective bargaining as universally recognized fundamental parts of a free democracy and fair society.

We urge the international communities, trade unions and labour organisations to give solidarity to the struggle of the working people and labourers in Thailand.

ATNC Monitoring Network, May 20, 2010


Those who agree with the above are welcome to join ATNC Monitoring Network as signatories to the statement

We also wish to draw attention to the courage of Thai groups inside Thailand now who have also launched their own statements and appeals to call for peaceful and genuine resolution to the country’s political and economic problems. Among them is this statement, created by our partner in Thailand, Thai Labour Campaign:



ATNC เครือข่ายองค์กรการตรวจสอบบรรษัทข้ามชาติเอเชีย

เครือข่ายองค์กรการตรวจสอบบรรษัทข้ามชาติเอเชีย รู้สึกตระหนกต่อพฤติกรรมที่ป่าเถือนของทหารของรัฐบาล นายอภิสิทธิ์ที่กระทำการปราบปรามอย่างไร้จิตสำนึกต่อประชาชน เพื่อผ่าทางตันทางการเมืองที่เกิดขึ้นในประเทศไทย ในวันที่ 10 เมษายน รัฐบาลได้ใช้กองกำลังของรัฐเพื่อผลักดันผู้ประท้วงออกจากพื้นที่ชุมนุม, การต่อสู้กันทั้งสอง ฝ่ายส่งผลให้มีมีคน 24 คนถูกฆ่าตาย และผู้ได้รับบาดเจ็บมากกว่า 800 คน ในระหว่างวันที่ 13 – 17 พฤษภาคม ตามรายงานของรัฐบาล อย่างน้อยมี 35 คนถูกฆ่าตาย ล้วนแต่เป็นพลเรือน และมีผู้ได้รับบาดเจ็บอย่างน้อย 232 คน ในวันที่ 19 พฤษภาคม  รัฐบาลโหมยุติการประท้วงด้วยรถถังและอาวุธสงครามครบมือ จนถึงปัจจุบันมีประชาชนกว่า 80 คนถูกสังหาร และมีผู้บาดเจ็บมากกว่า 2,000 คน มีทั้งพลเรือนและสื่อมวลชนต่างประเทศ


ทั้งนี้โปรดอย่าลืมความกล้าหาญของคนไทย ที่นับตั้งแต่ปี 2516 ได้ลุกขึ้นต่อสู้เพื่อเสรีภาพ, ประชาธิปไตย, ความยุติธรรม และความเสมอภาคในชีวิต พวกเขาถูกบดขยี้อีกครั้งโดยชนชั้นปกครอง ไม่ว่าจะเป็นมวลชนตัวแทน ของทักษิณ, สุนทรเวช หรือ รัฐบาลอภิสิทธิ์ ซึ่งครอบงำการปกครองเสรีนิยมใหม่ ด้วยประชาธิปไตยระบบรัฐสภา  ในฐานะที่เป็นเครือข่ายองค์กรแรงงาน และสหภาพแรงงานในภูมิภาคนี้ที่ได้ต่อสู้กับกระแสเสรีนิยมใหม่ และการกดขี่ขูดรีดของนายทุน

พวกเรายืนหยัดสนับสนุนคนทำงานและผู้ใช้แรงงานทุกคนในประเทศไทยให้ต่อสู้เพื่อประชาธิปไตยอย่างแท้จริงเพื่อให้บรรลุถึงความยุติธรรมทางการเมืองและเศรษฐกิจ สำหรับพวกเขาแล้วมันมากกว่า เล่ห์เหลี่ยมเพื่อผลประโยชน์ ของชนชั้นปกครอง

แม้จะมีความการแตกแยกและความตึงเครียดทางการเมือง, องค์กรภาคประชาสังคม, สหภาพแรงงาน และเอ็นจีโอใน ประเทศไทย ต่างก็ต่อสู้เพื่อเรียกร้องความยุติธรรมให้กับประชาชนและการต่อสู้ของพวกเขา  เราสนับสนุนและขอนำข้อ เรียกร้องของพวกเขามายังประชาคมโลกว่า

  • แทนที่จะแก้ไขความขัดแย้งทางสังคมอย่างแท้จริงของเศรษฐกิจไทย รัฐประหารในปี 2549 เป็นการกระทำนอกขอบเขตบนระบอบประชาธิปไตยในประเทศไทย ส่งผลให้เกิดการการชุมนุมทางการเมืองและการแตกแยกอย่างรุนแรงในประเทศ และ
  • นอกเหนือไปจากความแตกต่างทางความคิดและความซับซ้อนของการเมือง การประท้วงของประชาชนทั้งในกรุงเทพ และในหลายจังหวัด คือการใช้สิทธิที่ชอบธรรมในการแสดงความไม่พอใจ และความคับข้องใจที่มีต่อรัฐสภาที่ถูกครอบงำเพื่อตอบสนองต่อผลประโยชน์ของชนชั้นปกครอง การกระทำของรัฐบาลอภิสิทธิ์ที่ใช้กำลังทหารและกระสุนจริงต่อผู้ชุมนุมจำเป็นจะต้องถูกประนาม

เรามีความห่วงใยโดยเฉพาะการปิดกั้นเสรีภาพภาคของประชาชนในการแสดงความคิดเห็น และการเข้าร่วมชุมนุม ซึ่งจะถูกปิดกั้นต่อไปหลังการปราบปรามในนามของ “การต่อต้านผู้ก่อการร้าย” เราขอกำชับรัฐบาลอภิสิทธิ์ อย่างหนักแน่นว่า

  • ให้ความช่วยเหลืออย่างเร่งด่วนและคุ้มครองคนไทยทุกคนรวมทั้งผู้บาดเจ็บและผู้สูญเสียไปจากการปราบปรามอย่างรุนแรง
  • ให้ยกเลิก ประกาศ พระราชกำหนดการบริหารราชการในสถานการณ์ฉุกเฉิน และส่งเรื่องการกระทำทั้งหมด ของรัฐบาลเข้าสู่กระบวนการยุติธรรมและให้เกิดการตรวจสอบ และเป็นกลาง
  • ให้หยุดการปิดกั้นสื่อ
  • แต่งตั้งคณะทำงานที่เป็นอิสระ เพื่อตรวจสอบการสังหารพลเรือนผู้บริสุทธิ์โดยกองทัพไทย
  • เจรจาโดยสันติวิธีกับผู้ชุมนุมประท้วงไปในทางที่เหมาะสมต่อการเปลี่ยนแปลงจากรัฐบาลไปสู่รัฐบาลที่ได้รับการเลือกตั้ง
  • ปกป้องเสรีภาพของการชุมนุม, เสรีภาพทางการแสดงออก,  เสรีภาพในการเจรจาต่อรอง อันเป็นกติกาสากลที่ได้รับการยอมรับว่าเป็นสิทธิขั้นพื้นฐานของประชาธิปไตยและสังคมที่มีความยุติธรรม

เราขอกระตุ้นให้นานาชาติ, สหภาพแรงงานและองค์กรแรงงานร่วมกันต่อสู้ของทำงานและชนชั้นแรงงานในประเทศไทย

ATNC เครือข่ายองค์กรการตรวจสอบบรรษัทข้ามชาติเอเชีย

20 พฤษภาคม 2010


Following up on Abhisit disrupted

16 12 2009

A few days ago PPT posted on a short report concerning Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva’s “human rights” speech being interrupted by laid-off women workers from Triumph. See here, here and here for earlier posts on their actions, seeking justice from the company and from the state.

Prachatai (15 December 2009: “Triumph workers protest during Abhisit’s speech on human rights”) reports on the action, where the 10 workers “complained that the government had ignored their problems and police had abused their human rights.” They complained also that their rights to protest had been limited by the authorities. It is reported that during “one of their own rallies on 27 Aug, police employed a Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD) to disperse the crowd. And later their leaders were issued arrest warrants for instigating unrest and blocking roads.”

After the speech, former Triumph workers approached Abhisit and “handed him their statement on the abuse of their human rights and the government’s inaction regarding their problems.” One of them stated that the government’s acting spokesman Panitan Wattanayagorn “had promised them on 15 Sept to arrange a meeting between the Prime Minister and them on 7 Oct, but three months had passed already.” Panitan told the premier that “there had been a small problem about time.” Abhisit has apparently agreed to meet the workers at their demonstration site at the Ministry of Labour.

We’ll see. Abhisit has said all kinds of “nice” things before and not followed up.

Abhisit disrupted

14 12 2009

The Nation’s breaking news (14 December 2009: “PM’s human rights speech disrupted by laid-off workers”) has a very short report of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva’s “speech on human rights was cut short when laid-off workers stormed into the seminar venue Monday afternoon.” The women workers were some of those laid off several months ago by Triumph. See here, here and here for earlier posts. “The protesters said the government violated the human rights of the laid-off workers.”

The report states that the “prime minister was giving a speech on the government’s human rights protection and promotion.” PPT suspects that it was probably a short speech, but as we see more about it, we will post.

Update: It’s way worse than we could have imagined. Abhisit used his Human Rights Day speech to justify his government’s repression of human rights. Read it here and ask if George Orwell has been to Thailand. More on this later.

Triumph struggle and lese majeste reaches Argentina

29 09 2009

Also available as พนักงานไทรอัมพ์ถูกลอยแพ และกฎหมายหมิ่นฯ ดังไปถึงอาร์เจนติน่า

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

Repression of Triumph protestors continues

8 09 2009

Readers will recall our earlier post on the use of Internal Security Act provisions against leaders of the laid-off workers from Triumph International.

The Clean Clothes Campaign now has an interesting and disturbing post on this issue (7 September 2009: “Leaders of Peaceful Protest Against Triumph Threatened with Arrest in Thailand”). Of note is this: “hundreds of Triumph workers assembled in front of the parliament to hand a petition to the Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva. However, [Abhisit] refused to meet with the union representatives, and instead the workers were confronted with police using a Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD). This controversial military weapon consists of a high concentration of sound waves that can cause temporarily deafness and blurred vision, as well as permanent hearing loss. According to human rights organisations, this non-lethal weapon can be classified as a technique of political control that poses a threat to civil liberties.”

The Campaign allows protests to be lodged here.

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