Published on February 23, 2010
Former employees of Body Fashion (Thailand), a subsidiary of Triumph International, ended their eight-month-long protest and slowly started moving out of the Labour Ministry compound yesterday in exchange for 250 industrial sewing machines.
Deputy permanent secretary for Labour, Somkiat Chayasriwong, yesterday signed an agreement with Jitra Kochadech, adviser to Triumph International's labour union.
Somkiat said the machines would be delivered to the Samut Prakan vocational-skills development office on March 17.
In addition, the ministry would provide the workers with vocational training and skill tests as well as contact the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Co-operatives to consider giving them loans, Somkiat said. He added that the bank was expected to provide the workers with data on loan applications on Friday.
Meanwhile, Jitra said the workers had agreed because this was the best solution, given the fact that they've been unemployed for eight months now. She added that the new machines would be used to produce goods under the brand "Try Arm" - a name chosen to have a go at Triumph International for taking advantage of them.
She said the workers were also very unhappy about the police's usage of the Long-Range Acoustic Device for crowd control and for issuing arrest warrants for three protest leaders. Since they were only getting 250 machines instead of the 560 they had initially demanded, she urged people to donate more sewing machines to the labour union. People can call (087) 020 6672 for more information.
Triumph International labour unions in the Philippines, Hong Kong, Switzerland and six other European countries will also be rallying for similar issues, she said. Switzerland's Economic Affairs Department last week accepted a complaint about Triumph International's alleged violation of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development regulations, she added.