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Top union leaders urge improved safety and industrial relations on Thailand's railways

15 January 2010

An international delegation of top railway trade unionists on a mission to Thailand has strongly criticized poor rail safety standards and anti-union practices by employers and government.

The delegation arrived on Monday, travelled to Hat-Yai in southern Thailand and concludes today in Bangkok. It was put together by the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) and comprised rail union leaders from Norway, New Zealand, India and Japan.

Delegation members condemned the poor safety standards they discovered. Ageing rolling stock, lack of safety devices and staff shortages were amongst the most serious concerns raised by the unionists. The latter resulted in railway employees having to work for long periods without weekly rest days, further compromising safety and raising concerns for passengers.

Oystein Aslaksen from the Norwegian Locomotive Drivers Union and Chair of ITF Railway Workers' Section said the Thai government and the railway company SRT must “develop a new safety culture with the union without delay”.

He added that workers should be rewarded for highlighting safety concerns - not punished. “Workers have the right to stop work under unsafe conditions,” he insisted.

Thawatchai Boonvisoot, Wirut Sagaekhum, Prachaniwat Buasri, Sorawut Porthongkham, Thawatchai Bunwisut, Saroj Rakchant and Nitinat Chaibum, all Thai railway union officials, were dismissed recently on spurious grounds following industrial action called as part of safety campaigning. The railway company should reinstate all six, and refrain from making further threats against union representatives, the ITF mission concluded.

The delegation also strongly urged the SRT to withdraw legal claims to the value of 300 million Baht (US$9.1 million) in damages against the union after it called the work stoppages, which date from 16 October 2009.

Mac Urata, ITF inland transport section secretary said that the ITF would take steps to lodge a complaint with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) should the SRT fail to reinstate the six dismissed workers, withdraw the damage suit and cease union-busting tactics. "The ITF has grave concerns about the situation and we will do all we can to push for a strong safety culture and positive industrial relations" he added.

NOTE: Members of the delegation were Oystein Aslaksen, ITF Railway Workers' Section Chair and President, Norwegian Locomotive Drivers' Union; Wayne Butson, ITF Railway Workers' Section Asia Pacific Chair and General Secretary, Rail Martime and Transport Workers Union, New Zealand; Mac Urata, ITF Inland Transport Section Secretary; Mahendra Sharma, ITF Asia/Pacific Regional Secretary; Venu Nair, Assistant General Secretary, National Railway  Mazdoor Union (Central Railway), AIRF India; Masa Takahashi, International Secretary, JREU Japan.


For more information contact ITF press officer, Sam Dawson.
Direct line: + 44 (0)20 7940 9260.

International Transport Workers' Federation - ITF:
ITF House, 49 - 60 Borough Road, London SE1 1DS
Tel: + 44 (0) 20 7403 2733
Fax: + 44 (0) 20 7375 7871

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PME Due Date

Master Circular No. 25

Copy of Railway Board’s letter No. 69/H/3/11 dated 06.12.1974

Subject: Implementation of the Recommendations of the Visual Sub-Committee.

6. Periodical re-examination of serving Railway Employees:

6.l. In order to ensure the continued ability of Railway employees in Classes A l, A 2, A 3, B l and B 2 to discharge their duties with safety, they will be required to appear for re-examination at the following stated intervals throughout their service as indicated below:

6.1.1. Classes A l, A 2 and A 3 —At the termination of every period of three years, calculated from the date of appointment until they attain the age of 45 years, and thereafter annually until the conclusion of their service.

Note: (l) The staff in categories A l, A 2 and A 3 should be sent for special medical examination in the interest of safety under the following circumstances unless they have been under the treatment of a Railway Medical Officer.

(a) Having undergone any treatment or operation for eye trouble irrespective of the duration of sickness.

(b) Absence from duty for a period in excess of 90 days.

(2) If any employee in medical category A has been periodically medically examined at any time within one year prior to his attaining the age of 45, his next medical examination should be held one year from the due date of the last medical examination and subsequent medical examination annually thereafter.

If, however, such an employee has been medically examined, at any time earlier, than one year prior to his attaining the age of 45, his next medical examination should be held on the date he attains the age of 45 and subsequent medical examination annually thereafter.

Ammendment: It was ammended in 1993 as below

Age Group PME Due

Age 00-45 every 4yrs

Age 45-55 every 2yrs

Age 55-60 every year
As per Rly Bd's Guideline of Medical Exam issued vide LNo. 88/H/5/12 dated 24-01-1993

a) PME would be done at the termination of every period of 4 years from date of appointment / Initial medical Exam till the date of attainment of age of 45 years, every 2 years upto 55 years & there after annual till retirement.
b) Employees who has been periodically examined at any time within 2years prior to his attaining the age of 45years would be examined after 2years from the date of last PME & subsequent PME for every 2years upto 55years age.Of

NRMU 4 you

6.1.2. Classes B-1 and B-2—On attaining the age of 45 years, and thereafter at the termination of every period of five years.