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Cabinet threatens to open up fishing labour to migrant workers

Jack Burton

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PHOTO: thainews.prd.go.th

Fisherman from 22 of Thailand’s 76 provinces are demanding the government solve the labour problem in the fisheries’ industry. The government, in turn, is threatening to invoke Article 83 of the Royal Ordinance on Fisheries, which would essentially allow immigrant labour in the sector.

The relevant committee in the House proposes opening two registration periods for migrant workers, the first from January to March, another from July to September.Applicants would have to hold valid passports or official travel documents,

The Thai Immigrant Employment Management Policy Committee is expected to submit its proposal for Cabinet approval.

Thailand has one of the world’s largest fishing industries and seafood products generate massive export revenue annually. A labour shortage in the industry has been a perennial andpressing issue, but Thais tend to shun the labour-intensive occupation, creating a vacuum which migrant labour can help fill. There have also been accusations of maltreatment and even allegations of slavery in the industry until an industry ‘clean up’ over the past four years.

SOURCE: thainews.prd.go.th

 

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Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

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