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Golf News (posted 8th November 1998)

Thai caddies in revolt over job losses

Associated Press

Bangkok, Thailand. - Upset over losing their jobs after a golf course was turned into a city park, caddies in Bangkok attacked municipal workers with rocks and golf balls Friday.

About 100 landscaping workers came under attack when they arrived for work at the golf course, which has been transferred from the state-owned railway authority to the Bangkok municipality.

No one was hurt and none of the caddies were arrested.

Somkart Suebtrakool, the municipality's secretary-general, told Independent Television News that the city had agreed to hire 428 caddies and exempted them from taking the employment entrance exam. The city also offer them stall space for small commercial ventures.

But a number of caddies were not satisfied with the offer, fearing their income would be drastically cut amid the hardship of Thailand's worst economic crisis in decades and leading to Friday's incident.

In July, the caddies staged a two-day blockade of a railway station to protest the plan, stranding thousands of passengers.

Since a change of administration more than two years ago, notoriously congested Bangkok has been trying to increase public parks.