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Phuket lifeguards confirm Oct 1 strike

Phuket lifeguards confirm Oct 1 strike

PHUKET: The Phuket’s Lifeguard Service has today confirmed that they are to strike from Oct 1 following last weeks revelation that the Phuket Provincial Administration Organisation (PPAO) has cut the service’s budget for the second consecutive year.

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By Tanyaluk Sakoot

Monday 25 September 2017, 06:21PM


Today’s (Sept 25) announcement came at a press conference held by the Phuket lifeguard Service at the Phuket Royal City Hotel in Phuket Town this afternoon (Sept 25).

Last Friday (Sept 23) The Phuket News revealed that Phuket’s lifeguards were threatening to go on strike from Oct 1 after the budget for their services was quietly cut yet again at an PPAO council meeting last month.

“September 30 is the last day of our current contract. We will not work from October 1. From that day tourists will see the sign ‘No lifeguard on duty’ on every beach in Phuket,” Phuket Lifeguard Chief Prathaiyuth Chuayuan confirmed to The Phuket News last week.

“We have decided that we can’t accept this budget, which is less than last year,” he added, explaining that the actual budget amount has been kept the same as last year at B19.8 million – but now with the expectation of lifeguards patrolling beaches for an extra two months of the year, not just during the dangerous southwest monsoon season, and with the Governor’s order to have them extend their patrols an hour later each day.

“Last year they already cut the budget by 10% on the year before and still we decided to continue to our work, but now they do this,” Mr Prathaiyuth said. (See story here.)

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Speaking to The Phuket News today, Mr Prathaiyut said, “We are going on strike from Oct 1 due to the budget cuts.”

Mr Prathaiyut then went on to explain that the number of drownings occurring on Phuket’s beaches this year is less than previous years and that so far this year the number of people rescued at the beaches is 35 Thai nationals and 302 foreigners. A total figure of 337 people saved.

“Only two people have drowned within lifeguards working hours, seven have drowned outside of working hours,” he said.

“Almost all incidents occur due to people ignoring our warnings. Our staff have to explain situations to tourists, and we are not only here to save people from drowning, we also help with situations such as jellyfish,” he added.

Phuket Lifeguard Service Vice President Vitanya Chuayuan told The Phuket News, “I want everyone to be careful when they are in water. I am worried that tourists won’t enjoy their holiday if we are not on the beaches. Throughout the month of October there will still be bad weather and the waves will still be strong and hard.”

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Baralan | 26 September 2017 - 22:19:20

Any form of industrial action taken as a last resort when faced with unreasonable actions by an employer can be construed as "Blackmail". Given the continuing number of fatalities and ignoring of warning flags by some tourists and even some attacking lifeguards trying to keep them out of the water when red flags were flying, you would expect that the authorities increased the budget and ...

Bigaresort | 26 September 2017 - 08:12:52

Is this some sort of Blackmail?

Horst

jsrit | 26 September 2017 - 07:19:04

Shame on the PPAO, deaths that will surely occur can be directly attributed to those who undervalue lifeguards. 

Public safety for locals and tourists should be priority number one. Phuket can thrive as a family destination by getting priorities straight. 

PPAO, rethink your decision before too late! It is monsoon season!

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