Tailandia - Anti-union activities after railway strikes (2010)

Last year was a time of strikes and turmoil at the State Railway of Thailand (SRT). In June, the State Railway Workers’ Union of Thailand (SRWUT) called a strike to protest against the state enterprise’s restructuring plans. A fatal rail accident in October left seven passengers killed and many more wounded. The SRWUT claimed that staff fatigue was the cause of the accident, but the SRT refused to accept this explanation and dismissed the train driver and reduced the salaries of the driver’s assistant and caretaker. In response, the SRWUT went on strike to demand that staff shortages be resolved and safety standards improved. The government recruited new employees in an attempt to break the strike.

Later that month the SRT filed two lawsuits with the Central Labour Court that sought the dismissal of ITF railway section Vice-Chair for the Asia Pacific region, SRWUT Vice-Chair Mr. Pinyo Ruenpet, as well as six other SRWUT leaders and members. The lawsuit also sought damages from SRWUT members in the amount of 70 million baht (USD 2.12 million). On 2 November, the SRWUT demanded that Thai PM Abhisit Vejjajiva (Abhisit) reverse the dismissal of six SRT workers who had participated in the strike. All the court cases and dismissals were still pending at the end of the year.

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