Workers gather to mark Labour Day, submit 9-point petition to PM

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BANGKOK, May 1 – Hundreds of Thai workers gathered at Royal Plaza in Bangkok this morning to mark Labour Day before proceeding to Sanam Luang for the annual rally, when plan to submit a nine-point petition to Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra demanding an improved standard of living.

Workers from 13 labour organisation members in the Employees Council of Thailand and two state enterprise labour unions attended a religious ceremony held at the Royal Plaza, chaired by Minister of Labour Phadermchai Sasomsab.

After the ceremony, the group is to march to Sanam Luang where the main event will be held to mark both the international and Thai national Labour Day.

Jaiyaporn Chantana, chairman of Labour Congress Freedom of Thailand (LCFT), who also chairs the organising committee for the Labour Day celebrations, said that the labour group would this year submit a nine-point petition to Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra who is scheduled to preside at the opening ceremony at noon.

The petition includes a demand that the government speed up Thailand’s process of adopting the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention on Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise; to establish an unemployment insurance fund, and to set up an institute to ensure safety, occupational health and environment in the workplace.

Meanwhile, another group of workers called the Thai Labour Solidarity Committee and State Enterprise Labour Relations gathered outside Parliament before marching to the Democracy Monument and to hold activities at the 14 October 1973 Memorial on Rajdamnoen Road.