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ITF unions take action for Thai union leaders

21 Jan 2019
ITF rail unions around the world have acted in support of a group of persecuted Thai union leaders.

Activists in India, France, South Korea, the UK, Japan, and Turkey took solidarity action and delivered messages to their country’s Thai embassies.

SRUT Thailand rail India

The seven State Railway Union of Thailand (SRUT) leaders had been sacked for carrying out a safety campaign but were reinstated. However, despite being found innocent, they are facing a crippling fine of THB24 million (USD726,116) set by the Thai Supreme Court.

Last week a high-level ITF delegation went to Thailand and met with representatives from the transport ministry, the labour ministry and the International Labour Organization (ILO) to call for justice for the workers after ten years of struggle.

SRUT Thailand rail UK

Sawit Kaewvarn, SRUT president said: “We welcome the support and efforts of the ITF and its unions. It keeps us strong and has helped us to win some battles in this ten-year struggle. We will not back down because we know we have not done anything wrong, and I am sure that this mission from the ITF will help us to finally win justice.”

The head of inland transport at the ITF, Noel Coard, commented that the meetings with the Thai government were positive, but now they had to put their words into action and show that Thailand respects union rights.

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