Monday, February 9, 2009

Workers end strike on Phuket

Feb 8, 2009

BANGKOK - HOTEL workers on the Thai resort island of Phuket have ended a three-day strike that forced the closure of six hotels and disrupted holidays for hundreds of foreign tourists, police said on Sunday.

Workers blocked roads to the sprawling resort complex after the Laguna Group cut employee bonuses and ruled out a wage increase this year, the Phuket Gazette reported.

Tourists staying at the Laguna complex were moved to other hotels on the island, which has seen a sharp drop in visitors since the seizure of Bangkok's main airports late last year.

'The hotel did not negotiate. They told the protesters they cannot increase wages this year because they will struggle with losses,' Phuket police officer Pharidon Ghaniama said.

The company had no official comment on the strike, but hotel staff said four of the six Laguna hotels remained closed on Sunday.

Thailand may see its lowest number of tourist arrivals in four years in 2009 after anti-government protesters blockaded Bangkok's airports and stranded thousands of holidaymakers, analysts say.

Tourism directly employs 1.8 million people in Thailand and brings in the equivalent of 6 per cent of gross domestic product. -- REUTERS

[It doesn't make sense to strike and disrupt tourism even further after all the craziness that has affected Thailand's tourist industry. The labour unions (if there were any) should have exercised restraint and look at the bigger picture. Thailand does not need another crisis if they want to continue to be a tourist haven. ]

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