[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index ][Thread Index ]

Alien workforce is a big problem

May 26, 1998



              Alien workforce is
              a big problem

              Sending back 1.3 million alien workers to their respective
              countries is not an easy job. It will be difficult if only the
              Immigration Department is responsible. The cooperation of
              employers is very important.

              Firstly, most employers failed to register their migrant workers a
              year ago because of registration fees and the need for workers
              to be absent from work for medical check-ups.

              Besides, employers prefer cheap workers. Many garment
              factories have been set up near the Burmese border about 500
              kilometres from Bangkok. Their employees, Burmese workers,
              are paid an average of 1,500 baht per month for working about
              26 days a month. The working day is 11 hours, which any Thai
              would refuse to work.

              A year ago, Thai unions suggested granting migrant workers the
              same pay and rights as Thais, or else, they said, there would be
              social and unemployment problems. Another thing is that the
              Thai authorities have failed to distribute proper information to
              migrant workers. The Immigration Department offered travel
              documents and bus fares for repatriation, but the information did
              not reach alien workers who do not understand the Thai
              language. If local broadcast stations explained migrant worker
              issues in the respective alien languages, I am sure this would

              Lastly, Kanjana Spindler pointed out (Commentary, May 20)
              that the political and economic situation in neighboring countries
              greatly affects the increasing number of migrant workers. Many
              Burmese bring their entire families and seek jobs in Thai border
              towns paying just 500 baht a month.

              Hsaw Wah Deh