Envoys from Belgian and Swiss Embassies in Bangkok attended the court session regarding the right to peaceful assembly and association. They promise to observe the trial closely and attend the next hearings which will take place on 15 November this year onwards.
Three leaders of Triumph underwear workers who were laid off in 2009 have been prosecuted for gathering and causing unrest.
Laid-off Triumph workers have decided to end their 8-month-long rally, but continue to produce their own Try Arm underwear with 250 sewing machines donated by the Ministry of Labour.
For over two months, former Triumph workers have rallied at the Ministry of Labour, despite the ministry’s threats to remove them from its premises. Two of their leaders have returned from a campaign trip in Europe.
The Labour Court in Samut Prakarn dismissed a case of unfair layoff filed by former Triumph workers against Body Fashion (Thailand) Co. The workers, however, will continue their fight, and sell their own ‘Try Arm’ underwear at their rallies, while two of their leaders are running a campaign in Europe to pressure Triumph headquarters.
Laid-off Triumph workers stood up and held banners in protest during a speech by PM Abhisit Vejjajiva on his government’s work on human rights. The workers complained that the government had ignored their problems and police had abused their human rights.
The Ministry of Labour will seek a court order to remove Triumph workers from the ground floor of its building, citing a complaint from a citizen, after it previously claimed the need to use the space for an exhibition to celebrate the King’s birthday. Products under the workers’ own brand name ‘Try Arm’ have been made and sold, and a labour organization in Switzerland has placed an order for 400 pairs of underwear.
Two leaders of the Triumph labour union, who were charged with inciting unrest and blocking roads during their protests at Government House and Parliament in late August, have been granted bail with academics from Chulalongkorn University as guarantors.
Women workers at a garment factory in Hainan, southern China, began a strike on Wednesday 11 November to press their demands on pay and vacations after management announced drastic cuts in bonuses. Around 3,000 workers at the Hainan Youmei Underwear Co., Ltd in Haikou City, the provincial capital, gathered outside the plant. The factory is wholly owned by German-Swiss lingerie giant Triumph International, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of women’s underwear.
On the ground floor of the Ministry of Labour, amid campaign banners and luggage scattered around, groups of women are engaged in activities. When night falls, mosquito nets of various colours occupy the place. These are members of the Triumph Labour Union, which has been active since 1980, and is reputedly one of the most enduring.