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Pattaya Restaurant Owner’s Harsh Discipline Sparks Outrage

In a recent incident in Pattaya, Thailand, a BBQ restaurant owner’s harsh disciplinary methods sparked widespread condemnation after a customer uploaded a video showing the owner beating a tardy employee. The video, which surfaced on social media, shows the female owner hitting a male staff member clad in red with a stick multiple times, an act witnessed by patrons and staff alike.

This incident, captured and shared online, led to significant media coverage, with outlets probing into the reasons behind such severe disciplinary actions. According to a report by PPTV HD, the employee was one of six punished for arriving late to work, a revelation that ignited a debate on Thai social media platforms. Many netizens expressed their disapproval, labeling the punishment as a breach of human rights and arguing for alternative disciplinary measures like salary deductions or dismissal for repeated offenses.

The owner, 33-year-old Yuwadee Boonsarn, defended her actions in media statements, explaining that the corporal punishment was part of a staff-agreed rule for tardiness. She recounted the evolution of her disciplinary approach, from financial penalties to suspensions, and finally to physical punishment, as a collective agreement with her employees due to the financial hardships they faced from previous sanctions.

Despite the controversy, some employees supported Yuwadee’s method. Eighteen-year-old Pacharapon Sidapromp, featured in the video, and 22-year-old Nattawadee Komonwanit, spoke out against the backlash, emphasizing their agreement to the physical punishment over financial penalties, and describing their workplace dynamic as familial.

The incident eventually reached the authorities, with Pacharapon’s mother filing a complaint against the punitive practice. Subsequently, Yuwadee ceased the physical punishment in favor of salary deductions, although this method also contravenes Thai labor laws, specifically Section 76 of the Labour Protection Act, which prohibits such financial penalties for lateness.

The incident has not only highlighted the controversial disciplinary practices but also raised questions about labor rights and legal protections for workers in Thailand.

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