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These golfers were fortunate to beat the blockade at Loch Palm.

Phuket Caddies End Blockade, Return to Course

Saturday, March 13, 2010
GOLFERS returned to the Loch Palm course in central Phuket today as the club's 260 female caddies came back after a two-day stop-work.

The unusual stoppage led to a blockade of a road leading to the course, with the caddies complaining about their treatment and making demands of the club's management.

After talks spread across two days, a caddy spokesperson told Phuketwan today, agreement had been reached for the return to work.

The caddies wanted the reinstatement of a ''caddy master'' they said had been sacked, but the club management said that was not possible. The man, who was asked to leave, had taken voluntary redundancy and wages totalling eight months as a result.

The caddy spokesperson expressed some concern that the management had interviewed about 40 caddies one by one today, in what they saw an apparent attempt to find ringleaders of the dispute.

However, the spokesperson told Phuketwan, the decision to stop work had been unanimous.

The caddies decided to stop in protest at a succession of memos about behavior and other aspects of their performance. Some caddies had been told to not return to work for up to two weeks over what the caddies perceived as minor complaints.

Caddies are sub-contractors and earn up to 500 baht if they get the opportunity to work at the course, where there are usually 200 rounds of golf played on average per day at this time of year.

Phuketwan was unable to reach the golf club's management for a comment today.

Loch Palm is one of Phuket's most popular courses, with a large following among Thai and expat locals as well as tourists.
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