Tailandia - Railway union leaders on trial 

Ten years after the events that triggered the charges against them, the trial of 13 leaders of the State Railway Union of Thailand (SRUT) was due to begin on 11 November 2019. 
The State Railway Workers’ Union of Thailand (SRUT) had organised a nationwide rail safety campaign following a fatal train derailment on 5 October 2009 at Khao Tao Station, which killed seven and left several others injured. An internal fact-finding investigation concluded that the main cause of the accident was that the locomotive was poorly maintained and in unsafe condition, a view upheld by the National Human Rights Commission of Thailand. 
The State Railway of Thailand (SRT), however, dismissed six leaders of SRUT Hat Yai branch in 2009, filed cases against seven SRUT national leaders and dismissed a further seven in 2011. Following official complaints by the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) and the ITUC, the ILO concluded that the SRUT’s leaders had simply highlighted the unsafe working conditions on the Thai railway system. In 2014, 13 leaders were reinstated to their positions, following national and international campaigns, but only six of them with back pay. In March 2018, the Supreme Labour Court ordered seven SRUT leaders to pay damages amounting to approximately 24 million Thai Baht (approximately US$726,116). 
The next step was to charge them with corruption and misconduct, including negligence of duty, leading to the trial starting in November 2019. If found guilty, they face a sentence of up to five years’ imprisonment, a fine of 20,000 Thai Baht, and termination of their employment by the SRT. 
The thirteen SRUT leaders are: Wirun Sakaekum, Prachaniwat Buasri, Nittinai Chaiyaphum, Sorawut Phothongkam, Thawatchai Boonwisoot, Saroj Rakchan, Sawit Kaewwan, Thara Sawangtham, Liam Mokngam, Pinyo Ruenphet, Arun Deerakchat, Bunjong Bun-net and Supichet Suwanachatri. 

© ITUC-CSI-IGB 2013 | www.ituc-csi.org | Contact Design by Pixeleyes.be - maps: jVectorMap