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Factory workers demand rights

May 7, 2009 (DVB), Factory workers in a Thai town close to the Burmese border yesterday held a protest in front of the Labour Rights Protection office to demand full wages and health care in the workplace.

Burmese migrants working in a garment factory in Mae Sot had complained that wages were insufficient, and that working conditions were poor.

"Our main reason for the demonstration was to make demands for a full wage payment for us factory workers, as pointed by the Thai labour laws, and also to have proper health care and sufficient drinking water in the workplace," said an anonymous worker.

A letter had been sent on 4 April to the Thai government's Labour Rights Protection office, and after the letter had been initially refused, officials from the office came to the factory.

"The manager evaded responsibility for our demands by saying he was also only another employee in the factory just like us," the worker said.

"We finally decided to stage the demonstration after feeling neglected on our poor living and eating conditions. The money we earn here is not enough for us to survive."

Reporting by Khin Min Zaw


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