Tailandia - Strikes, picketing and protests ruled illegal (2012)

On 27 Janurary, Ms. Jitra Kotchadej, former advisor to the Triumph International (Thailand) Labour Union (TITLU), Ms. Boonrod Saiwong, former TITLU Executive Secretary and Mr. Sunthorn Boonyod, staff member of the Labour Union Center, were formally charged with violating Section 215 and 216 of the Penal Code for gathering in a group of ten people or more, inciting people to cause unrest, and ignoring police orders. The charges stem from an August 2009 protest of about 400 TITLU members to petition former Thai PM Abhisit Vejjajiva to help in their labour dispute with Body Fashion.

On 28 July, Thailand’s Central Labour Court upheld the State Railways of Thailand’s (SRT’s) dismissal of seven State Railway Union of Thailand (SRUT) leaders and also ordered the seven to pay the authority THB15 million baht (USD500,000) in compensation for damages resulting from a 2009 strike. The court found the defendants guilty of inciting workers to go on strike, disrupting train services and causing SRT serious financial damage. The seven union SRUT leaders are President Mr. Sawit Kaewwan, Vice-presidents Mr. Phinyo Rueanphet, Mr. Banchong Bunnet, Mr. Thara Sawaengtham, and Mr. Liam Mokngam, Secretary Mr. Suphichet Suwanchatree, and Director of Education Mr. Arun Deerakchat.

In December, a Chonburi Provincial Court fined 17 leaders of the Michelin Thailand Workers Union THB1,500 (USD50) in connection with the union’s picketing of the plant in 2009. The court had originally imposed a one and a half year jail sentence and a THB3,000 (USD100) fine but suspended the jail time and reduced the fine because the accused plead guilty and had no previous criminal convictions.

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