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

THE NATION: Over 200 rice mills cl


      Over 200 rice mills closed as
      foreign labourers repatriated

      MORE than 200 rice mills in North and Central provinces
      were forced to shut down after the government started
      repatriating foreign workers in a bid to curb

      Over 100 operators of the rice mills yesterday gathered at
      the Rice Mill Association calling on the government to help
      recruit locals to replace the foreign workers. 

      Apichart Amatayakul, manager of the association, said
      there were about 1,200 rice mills registered under the
      Industry Ministry employing over 25,000 workers, 80 per
      cent of whom were foreign. 

      After implementation of the repatriation policy began early
      this year, some rice mills have had difficulty finding Thai
      workers for their mills. 

      The mill operators said that the government must act
      urgently as the problems will snowball into other business
      sectors after 232 rice mills were already out of operation. 

      ''If the government cannot help find Thai workers to replace
      those foreign labourers, farmers and the export sector will
      be affected. That might create a chain reaction in other
      businesses,'' Bamrung Kritpakorn, vice president of the
      association, said. 

      An April 28 Cabinet resolution already relaxed the
      repatriation policy by allowing foreigners to continue
      working in the fishery industry in 22 coastal provinces and
      11 border provinces. 

      Bamrung criticised the government's inaction in helping
      rice millers survive the labour shortage problems. 

      ''We do not intend to use the meeting to pressure the
      government to act. We have never asked for help before
      and this is our first time, but the government has not
      responded to our call,'' he said. 

      One of the group of mill operators said that association
      president Niphon Wongtrangarn was criticised at the
      meeting for his suggestions for attracting more local
      labour to the mills. The mill operator said that it did not
      represent the view of the group. 

      Niphon reportedly told the group to reduce the weight of
      rice sacks from 100 kilogrammes to 50 since he believed
      that Thai workers would be more willing to labour in rice
      mills with lighter loads. 

      Niphon said the group should first help themselves by
      organising a job fair. If that failed to attract workers, it
      should then seek help from the government. 

      Niphon said the group's resolution yesterday in
      demanding government assistance was not the
      association's stand and that it will take action against the
      group if it claims otherwise. 

      The Nation

 Over 200 rice mills closed as
      foreign labourers repatriated