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About 5,000 workers on strike in poultry farm

About 5,000 workers in Saha Farm Co. Ltd. (99) poultry in Samueng Dow, Ratchaburi province, Thailand have gone on strike because of...

About 5,000 workers in Saha Farm Co. Ltd. (99) poultry in Samueng Dow, Ratchaburi province, Thailand have gone on strike because of labour rights violations.

The demonstrators told the management to stop the bullying and violations by the factory manager and workers’ headmen, a poultry worker Ko Tun Tun said.

"There is a lot of oppression. Workers’ headmen (Wanna) abuse and force us to work. About 5,000 Burmese workers protested against this and decided to demonstrate on 18 December," he said.

Workers have to work more than 8 hours; there is no fixed salary for over time (OT); workers have no permission to take a day off even though they have health problems; there is salary cut without any reason among other irregularities.

Besides workers’ head men practice racial discrimination in the factory. There are no equal rights among workers, he added.

"Thai workers have to work only 8 hours a day but we have to work 11 hours a day.  Again, Thai workers earn more salary when we only earn 4,500 baht as starting salary," he said.

Workers will continue their strike until they get their labour rights, which they have lost, a leader spearheading the demonstration said.

"If we don't get our rights, we have decided to continue our strike," he added.

According to the latest information, factory owners came at mid-day to negotiate with factory workers. He agreed to eight working hours per day; 30 baht per hour as OT; allowing to hold labour cards; to close the factory on Thai official holidays; and allow  making temporary passports till the last day.

Workers requested the owner not to pressurize workers to make temporary passports. If they have to make temporary passports, workers promised to do so.

On 9 December, there was conflict between the owner and factory workers over making temporary passports in Saha Farm Co. Ltd. (88), which is a sister concern of Saha Farm Co. Ltd. (99). The Saha Farm Co. Ltd. (88) is located outside Lobburi near Bangkok. The factory produces poultry meat from 250,000 chickens per day for export. About 5,000 Burmese work in the factory.