Thai company's defamation trial against workers begins

AP News
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Posted: Feb 07, 2018 8:10 AM

BANGKOK (AP) — A court in Thailand has begun hearing testimony in the latest battle between a poultry producer and 14 migrant workers from Myanmar who say they were exploited.

Nakhon Chomphuchat, the lawyer for the workers accused of criminal defamation, said Thammakaset Farm presented four witnesses Wednesday seeking to disprove the workers' claims of abuse.

Thailand's Department of Labor Protection and Welfare has already ordered the company to pay the workers 1.7 million baht ($50,000) in compensation and damages for their claims of overwork and underpayment, but the money has been held up while the company appeals the case.

The company, which was a supplier for Thai agribusiness export giant Betagro, is also suing two workers for theft for taking their time cards to document their allegations of labor law violations.