Thai Labor Leader Luncheon
Please accept this invitation to meet Jittra Cotshadet over lunch on Friday October 28 at the Pioneer Valley Central Labor Council, 640 Page Boulevard, Springfield (get directions here).
Over the course of the past three years, Ms. Cotshadet has become a well-known labor activist in Thailand. Her work as the President of the Triumph International Thailand Labour Union thrust her into the international spotlight, when large numbers of unionized workers were laid off from their factory jobs at Triumph International, a global underwear manufacturer headquartered in Switzerland. According to Ms. Cotshadet, the employees were fired so the company could expand production at another plant whose workers did not belong to the union. Advocating on behalf of the women at the garment factory resulted in Ms. Cotshadet being fired. In response, she founded her own underwear manufacturing firm, Try Arm Worker Cooperative, employing many of the women who were laid off from Triumph. In addition to her efforts in the labor sector, Ms. Cotshadet has also worked closely with the disadvantaged in Thailand. She has served as an AIDS counselor and has fought numerous times to protect the labor rights of disabled workers in various industries.
Ms. Cotshadet currently holds the position of Consultant to the Triumph International Thailand Labour Union and Founder and Coordinator of the Try Arm Worker Cooperative.
She is in the U.S. on a three-week, State Department-sponsored tour to focus on the U.S. labor movement, how it works, as well as rights and policies directed toward vulnerable groups, such as the unemployed, at-risk youth, senior citizens, migrant workers, illegal immigrants, and the poor.
Having started Try Arm Worker Cooperative, she is very interested in discussing employee-owned businesses.
Friday October 28 she will begin her visit at IBEW Local 2324 office, 281 Cottage St, to attend the Verizon Street Heat Committee meeting, 9:30-10:30am. She will then go to the Pioneer Valley Central Labor Council Hall to attend the Community-Labor Rebuilding Coalition meeting, 11am-12:30pm.
Everyone is invited to lunch there at 12:30pm for general discussion about any and all the topics above.
Her Springfield visit is co-sponsored by the World Affairs Council of Western Mass., Western Mass. Jobs with Justice, Pioneer Valley AFL-CIO, SweatFree Communities, and the UMass Labor Center.