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THE NATION: ighter sacks to lure ba
- Subject: THE NATION: ighter sacks to lure ba
- From: suriya@xxxxxxxxxxxx
- Date: Mon, 04 May 1998 22:43:00
Lighter sacks to lure back
THE rice milling industry is pondering
halving the conventional packaging for rice
as part of government-led efforts to lure
more Thais to retake jobs they have
spurned to be taken over by illegal
immigrants, Deputy Labour Minister
Jongchai Thiangtham said Monday.
Conventionally, rice has been held in gunny
sacks weighing 100 kg apiece.
According to industry information, Jongchai
said, there are now an estimated 80,000
labourers working at rice mills nationwide,
including 20,000 who are illegal
The proposed shift in rice packaging from
the traditional 100-kg sacks to 50-kg ones
is in line with the International Labour
which call for 50 kg, 30 kg and 10 kg of
weight to be carried by male, female and
child labourers, respectively, he said.
The proposed halving of the rice package,
Jongchai said, ''would definitely be a pull for
more Thais to work as rice mill labourers.''
He said the rice mill industry, which has
been won over to the idea, will bring the
matter to consult with the rice sacking
industry, and the Association of Rice
Rice mills asked the government to allow it
to continue hiring some 20,000 illegal
labourers in the industry after the authorities
made it known that they would begin
implementing in the middle of this year the
government policy of deporting illegal
immigrant workers in order to make room
for jobless Thais. The number of the
unemployed is estimated to rise to three
million this year.
Thai employers generally prefer illegal
immigrant labourers to locals because they
are ready to accept lower wages and
willing to do jobs spurned by Thais.
Jongchai said, however, that he did not
expect the halving of rice packaging to
eliminate the problem of rice millers
preferring illegal immigrants to locals.
BY ANAN PAENGNOY