Laid-off Thai lingerie labourers pledge protest despite martial law

dpa German Press Agency
Published: Saturday October 7, 2006

Bangkok- Labour union leaders of a Thailand-based lingerie factory on Saturday insisted they would defy martial law and stage a protest outside the US embassy in Bangkok this weekend to pressure company owners into paying severance pay to 1,400 laid-off workers. Union chairwoman Duangjai Muangtong told the Bangkok Post online news service that the protest, aimed at sparking a consumer boycott of Gina Form Bra Company's lingerie, would be held on Sunday despite the imposition of martial law in the capital.

The Thai military staged a coup d'etat on September 19, ousting the caretaker cabinet of former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, and immediately placed the entire country under martial law which bans all political and labour gatherings of more than five people.

The lingerie workers' protest, if it takes place, will be the first large labour rally to openly defy the ban.

Duangjai claimed that Gina Form Bra Company, which manufacturers several well-known American brands of lingerie, had recently laid off all 1,400 workers without guaranteeing they would be paid severance pay, as is required by Thai law.

The company is scheduled to close down on October 31, said the Bangkok Post.

© 2006 dpa German Press Agency