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Uneasy calm in Bangkok under state of emergency

Latest update : 2008-09-03

A day after a state of emergency was enforced in Bangkok, Thailand's main public sector union failed to pull off a national strike. According to wire reports, there was little disruption at the country's main utilities and transportation companies.

FRANCE 24 Observers: One dead, 44 injured - who's to blame?


The call for a strike Wednesday by Thailand's biggest union group won few followers, with most services running as usual, officials said.
The 200,000-strong State Enterprises Workers' Relations Confederation had threatened a strike to bolster street protesters' demands for Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej to resign, saying they would cut power and water supplies to government agencies.
The strike was supposed to begin at 0200 GMT, but no disruptions were reported. Leaders of the labour body, which represents workers at 43 state enterprises, were not available for comment.
Officials at the main utilities said that most employees had shown up for work and that services were running as usual.
Flag carrier Thai Airways reported no disruptions to flights because of the strike call, while the Bangkok Mass Transit Authority (BMTA) said public buses were running as usual.
"We are still serving our average 6.5 million daily commuters in metro Bangkok," said the company's director general Pinetr Puapatanakul.
The unions had also threatened to cut telephone and water supplies, but those utilities reported services running normally.
Railway workers began disrupting train services last week, with service suspended on up to half the nation's lines at the weekend.
But the State Railway of Thailand said service actually improved Wednesday, with trains suspended only in southern provinces.
Thai unions have never pulled off a national strike, despite threats by their leadership.

Date created : 2008-09-03