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Workers march on May Day, seek lower cost of living

THAI WORKERS yesterday marched to Sanam Luang |to mark International Workers' Day, urging the government |to keep consumer-product |prices under control and |raise wages.

More than 1,000 workers from 14 federations of the National Congress of Thai Labour, after making merit yesterday morning, gathered at the Royal Plaza and marched to Sanam Luang in Bangkok, where a National Labour Day event was taken place.

They handed their proposals for better conditions to Labour Ministry permanent secretary Jirasak Sugandhajati, who presided over the event on behalf of caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, who was absent.

Labour Minister Chalerm Yoobamrung also did not show up. He told media in a separate interview that he was afraid of possible chaos, because there were many labour groups attending.

Demands

The labourers called on the government to lower the cost of living, accept International Labour Organisation Conventions 87 and 98 on freedom of assembly and collective bargaining, and raise their wages.

Another request was for childcare at work sites.

Workers from such provinces as Phuket, Udon Thani and Buri Rum urged the government to control consumer-product prices, revise daily pay, bring down living costs, and establish a fund for laid-off workers.

Meanwhile, Ranong employers expressed concern over labour shortages.

Jirasak said he would pass on all the requests to the government, and asked the labourers to be in unity with employers.

He said the government had accelerated its policies to upgrade the sustainable quality of life of labourers as well as preparing for full implementation of the Asean Economic Community in 2015.


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