Rail passenger safety at risk, Union urges reversal of court decision against safety protestors
WASHINGTON, DC - Amalgamated Transit Union International President Larry Hanley expressed strong support this morning for seven Thai railway union leaders who are set to be fired and fined $505,000 for protesting the deplorable safety failings which led to two derailments and one fatal accident in October 2009. The accident killed seven and injured many others.
“The decision of the Thai Labour Court is not in keeping with internationally recognized rights of workers to perform their jobs in safe and secure environments,” declared Hanley. “I want to express the solidarity of all of our members with the Thai railway workers, and urge the court to reverse this unjust decision on appeal.”
Hanley has endorsed the efforts of the International Transport Workers Federation which is asking workers to bring their protest to the Thai diplomatic missions in the U.S. and Canada within the next two weeks – the time in which the Thai court will be considering appeals.
The operator in the accident had one rest day in the previous 30 days. The ‘deadman’s handle’ was not working, and, unbelievably, only 20 percent of locomotives were even equipped with such a fundamental piece of equipment, according to the union.
“These Thai rail workers are committed to the safety and security of their passengers and are being unjustly persecuted,” Hanley said. “This is a blatant violation of their rights under international law and the ATU stands firmly behind these workers.”
# # #
For more information visit the ‘Solidarity with Thai railway workers’ campaign page visit:http://www.itfglobal.org/campaigns/thai-railway-workers.cfm
The Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) – the largest labor union representing transit and allied workers in the U.S. and Canada – fights for the interests of its hard-working members and promotes mass transit. Founded in 1892, the ATU today is comprised of over 190,000 members, including: metropolitan, interstate, and school bus drivers; paratransit, light rail, subway, streetcar, and ferry boat operators; mechanics and other maintenance workers; clerks, baggage handlers, municipal employees, and others. ATU can be found in 44 U.S. states and the District of Columbia, and nine Canadian provinces.
Amalgamated Transit Union, AFL-CIO
w. 202-537-1645 x254