'High heels mob' wants wage relief from state

'High heels mob' wants wage relief from state

A group of night entertainment workers led by the Empower Foundation protest outside Government House on Wednesday. (Photo: Nutthawat Wicheanbut)
A group of night entertainment workers led by the Empower Foundation protest outside Government House on Wednesday. (Photo: Nutthawat Wicheanbut)

Night workers from across the country gathered at Government House on Wednesday to call upon Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha to provide financial relief to those in their sector affected by the pandemic.

The workers, led by the Empower Foundation, said their sector has suffered from lockdown measures, but no relief measures have been provided. The protesters -- coined the "high heel mob" -- said workers from nightclubs, bars, and other venues have not made money since the Covid-19 pandemic began two years ago.

Further, they said they were not included in any government Covid-19 relief measures, even after they pleaded for help.

Their protest again called for relief measures and urged the government to provide monthly aid of 5,000 baht for each worker until their workplaces reopen.

"It has been 426 days since the government ordered the closure of nightspots to cope with the Covid-19 outbreak, causing us to lose our jobs and income," Empower Foundation co-ordinator Thanta Laowilawanyakul said.

"However, there are no government relief measures, as most of the workers are not insured under the social security scheme," Ms Thanta said.

"The government should commit to its pledge of not leaving anyone behind and ensure that everyone can gain access to government aid and welfare."

After reading their demands to the government, the protesters opened parcels containing high-heeled shoes sent from nightspot workers nationwide and read out individual messages to the government about their situation.

Deputy government spokeswoman Rachada Dhnadirek said on Tuesday that the cabinet has approved a financial aid programme for night workers with a budget of 607 million baht.

Ms Rachada said the Social Security Office will be in charge of providing a one-off payment of 5,000 baht per person, covering 121,431 workers in the target groups.

Those who are eligible for funds have to be Thai nationals working in nightspots who are already insured under the Social Security Act.

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