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Burmese migrants are chasing months of back-pay from Chiang Rai plantation


45 legally registered Burmese migrant workers in Chiang Rai are seeking assistance from the local labour office to conduct an inquiry into unpaid salaries over a couple of months, some up to six months. The workers have been engaged at a banana plantation in the Phaya Mengrai district.

The workers rallied at the provincial offices on Monday, some claiming they haven’t been paid for six months. The plantation employs about 80 workers from Myanmar. One worker, who told media that he had been working at the plantation for three years, claimed the problems started in June this year when “late wage payments began”.

In early December the plantation also laid off several workers without explanation, according to the employer. The worker, who asked not to be identified, said the plantation owed him 27,500 baht and his wife a further 12,000 baht. The couple say they are now in debt as they’re being forced to borrow money to make domestic payments.

A provincial labour and social welfare officer, Korawan Jongsathapornpan, says initial investigations show that the plantation has “repeatedly missed wage payment deadlines”, as reported in Bangkok Post. She also disclosed that two of the shareholders from the  plantation are Chinese.

“An inquiry was underway.”

Further investigation have discovered the agri-business was struggling financially and that one shareholder is in jail while another was sick.  The Chiang Rai Provincial Labour Office has ordered the firm to pay outstanding wages to workers by January 15, 2020.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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