Public sector unions prepare nationwide strike
(Sep 2008) Forty-three state enterprise labor unions under the coalition of the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) in Thailand have agreed to stage strikes and to selectively cut water and electricity. The public sector unions, representing 200,000 workers, confirmed that the strikes would start at state utilities on 3 September 2008 and spread to other companies. “If prime minister Samak Sundaravej refuses to quit on September 3, we will go on strike nationwide,” Sirichai Maingam, president of the union at the state power utility (LU- EGAT), told reporters. PSI affiliated unions: LUMWA (Labor Union of The Metropolitan Waterworks Authority), LUPWA (Labor Union Provincial Waterworks Authority) and LU-EGAT (Labor Union Electricity Generating Authority) have announced their support for the People’s Alliance for Democracy protest against the Samak Sundaravej government until the prime minister steps down. The unions are threatening to cut supply of water and electricity to selected state offices but will not target the general public, particularly hospitals. Thammarat Ramkwan, president of the Provincial Waterworks Authority's union, said the union “will initially cut water supplies to police stations across the country”. The president of the Metropolitan Electricity Authority's labour union, Phien Yongnoo, announced that the union was considering cutting off power supplies to support the PAD’s pressure on the government.