Suthep 'kicks' Chalerm at May Day rally

People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) leader Suthep Thaugsuban attended a major labour union May Day rally near parliament on Thursday and pledged to support calls to amend laws to improve workers' employment conditions.

Mr Suthep led his supporters to the rally organised by the Thai Labour Solidarity Committee (TLSC) and the State Enterprises Workers’ Relations Confederation (SERC) at Uthong Nai   intersection this morning, to mark National Labour Day.

The organisers called for an end to violations of workers’ rights and amendments to labour laws to provide for higher wages and better benefits for workers nationwide. They submitted proposals on national labour reform to Mr Suthep.

In his speech to the labour rally, Mr Suthep promised that their cause for better conditions and wages would be taken up and implemented once a "people's government" is established.

PDRC spokesman Akanat Promphan said Mr Suthep came to the rally to receive proposals on labour reform from representatives of workers in state enterprises and other sectors nationwide.

Their suggestions would be combined with the general public’s proposals to reform Thailand. The labour reform issue was part of national reform, which included issues such as income inequality, Mr Akanat added. 

The PDRC leader invited labourers to wear yellow and join the PDRC gathering at Sanam Luang on Coronation Day, next Monday evening, to express loyalty to His Majesty the King and pledge to fight for national reform for the sake of all Thais.  

Mr Suthep later joined the workers in a rum wong folk dance and another activity in which he was asked to choose and kick one of five tins with images on them.

The images were of caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, caretaker Deputy Prime Minister Plodprasop Suraswadi, red-shirt leader Jatuporn Prompan (two tins) and caretaker Labour Minister Chalerm Yubamrung.

He chose to kick the one with Mr Chalerm’s image on it.

Mr Suthep then had lunch with TLSC and SECR leaders before heading back to the PDRC main rally site at Lumpini park. 

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