Diamond Cliff row “must be solved fast’

PHUKET TOWN: Conflicts between hotel workers and their employers should be resolved quickly in the interests of the Phuket tourism industry, a conference heard today. Union leaders and other interested parties met for the first time to discuss worker-boss relations in the island’s increasingly unionized hotel industry. A focus of their attention was a dispute at the Diamond Cliff Resort in Patong where 110 staff were laid off in May, including the entire union committee. In June another 22, including members of a new union committee, were dismissed hours after the committee had been elected. The gathering of more than 100 delegates at the Phuket Island Pavilion hotel was also attended by representatives from the American Center for International Labor Solidarity, the National Human Rights Commission of Thailand, and the Phuket Federation of Hotel and Service Labor. Officers from some of the groups had also come to Phuket to help in negotiations between the Diamond Cliff’s owner and the sacked workers. Apirat Nutaman, Leader of the Thailand Hotel Business Labor Union, said, “We want to help negotiate because we don’t want this conflict to become bigger. It wouldn’t be good for tourism. “Some employers and hotel owners put up a barrier when they know there’s going to be a union in their hotel. But the union still has to act according to the labor laws.” Although the owner, Pattanapong Aikwanich, did not attend the seminar, he is expected to be at settlement negotiations shortly in Bangkok. Twenty-three hotels on the island, excluding the Diamond Cliff, now have unions covering a total of about 5,000 workers. The Chairman of Thailand’s Parliamentary Committee on Labor, Khon Kaen MP Premsak Pearyura, told the meeting that the Diamond Cliff conflict should be solved as soon as possible. “If the world hears that Thailand has labor unions that are striking, they will not want to come here,” he said. “Employers and employees should step back and negotiate to solve the problems.” He added, however, that unionists in a conflict could seek wider support.

Phuket News

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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