Connect with us

Business

Illegal Phuket migrant workers get five-month reprieve

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published 

 on 

Illegal Phuket migrant workers get five-month reprieve | The Thaiger
  • follow us in feedly

PHUKET: More than 20,000 unregistered migrant workers in Phuket now have until mid-June to register with the government, thanks to a Cabinet resolution earlier this month extending the deadline by five months.

The extension gives employers time to obtain two-year work permits for unregistered alien workers from Burma, Laos and Cambodia, said Phuket Provincial Employment Office Chief Noppadol Ployudee.

Workers whose permits were set to expire on January 20 or February 28 now have until June 14 to extend them, but their employers need to request the new permits and submit documents to begin their employees national verification process by April 12.

Any workers who fail to complete the verification process by June 14 will not be allowed to work after that date, he said.

As an added incentive, alien workers who apply for permits and complete the verification process before June 15 will be eligible for 500-baht visas to re-enter the country, Mr Noppadol said.

After the deadline, the visa fee will return to the normal rate of 2,000 baht, he said.

Mr Noppadol explained the new deadline to employers at a meeting attended by about 60 people at the Phuket Merlin Hotel on Tuesday.

Topics covered at the meeting included other issues affecting employers hiring low-wage foreign workers, such as the social security services registered workers would be eligible to receive.

Attendees were told there are 10,700 employers in Phuket with a total of 62,183 alien workers in their employ. These break down as follows:

– 38,287 Holders of permits who have completed the verification process;

– 859 Holders of permits under a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Thailand and their home countries;

– 2,479 Holders of existing permits who have yet to complete the verification process;

– 20,588 New applicants who must complete the verification process by June 14.

Mr Noppadol said the Thai government is now in discussions with Laos and Cambodia that would allow their nationals to work in Thailand under an MOU agreement, doing away with the need for national verification.

However, the date when formal talks on the issue would take place had yet to be announced, he said.

Mr Noppadol said there are now 72 companies in the country registered with the Ministry of Labor to act as agents to help the employers complete the complicated process of legalizing alien workers.

In addition, the Burmese government has set up verification centers in five more provinces: Chiang Mai, Samut Sakhon, Samut Prakan, Surat Thani and Bangkok.

In addition to the original three located in Ranong, Tak and Chiang Rai, this brings the national network to eight, he said.

Nationwide, more than a million workers from the three countries must complete verification by the June 14 deadline.

In Phuket, the vast majority of migrant workers are Burmese or people of other ethnicities whose homelands are controlled by the Burmese junta, including many ethnic Mons.

Many unregistered workers fear that providing data to the Myanmar government would lead to persecution of family members back home or other injustices.

Estimates of the number of Burmese workers living in Phuket have ranged as high as 200,000.

A report in the independent Democratic Voice of Burma last month cited a migrant advocacy group claims that the verification and work permit scheme backed by both the Thai and Burmese governments has done little to improve the lives of those who enrolled.

The report quoted Sein Htay, group coordinator of the Human Rights and Development Foundation, as saying that of the 700,000 workers registered so far, only 50,000 enjoyed the same welfare benefits as their Thai counterparts.

Under Thai law, the employer must cover 5% of the worker’s social security fund, but Sein Htay said that many employers were reluctant to pay the extra money.

“The rest have no labor privileges whatsoever,” he said.

“When using the previous migrant ID cards, they had been entitled to the 30 baht healthcare scheme introduced under former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, but the registration process effectively canceled this privilege…

“In a way, they have become like the illegal migrant workers. Now they have to cover their own medical expenses and such,” the report quoted Sein Htay as charging.

“The current issue we are facing is that employers are refusing to take responsibility for their workers and denying them compensation [when injured at work]. And the workers can’t afford to sue their employers as court cases may take months or even years and there’s no guarantee that they would win the lawsuit,” he said.

— Atchaa Khamlo

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.

Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Business

Governments & old media versus social media – who will win? | VIDEO

The Thaiger

Published

on

Governments & old media versus social media – who will win? | VIDEO | The Thaiger

We look at the recent changes made by the Australian and Indian governments to except control over the world’s biggest social media platforms. India has issued strict new rules for Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms just weeks after the Indian government attempted to pressure Twitter to take down social media accounts it deemed, well, anti social. There is now an open battle between the rise of social media platforms and the governments and ‘old’ media that have been able to maintain a certain level of control over the ‘message’ for the last century. Who will win?

The rules require any social media company to create three roles within India… a “compliance officer” who ensures they follow local laws; a “grievance officer” who addresses complaints from Indian social media users; and a “contact person” who can actually be contacted by lawyers and other aggrieved Indian parties… 24/7.

The democratisation of the news model, with social media as its catalyst, will continue to baffle traditional media and governments who used to enjoy a level of control over what stories get told. The battles of Google and Facebook, with the governments of India and Australia will be followed in plenty of other countries as well.

At the root of all discussions will be the difference between what governments THINK social media is all about and the reality about how quickly the media landscape has changed. You’ll get to read about it first, on a social media platform… probably on the screen you’re watching this news story right now.

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.

Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.

Continue Reading

Business

The social media giants in battle with ‘old’ media and world governments | VIDEO

The Thaiger

Published

on

The social media giants in battle with ‘old’ media and world governments | VIDEO | The Thaiger

“The rules signal greater willingness by countries around the world to rein in big tech firms such as Google, Facebook and Twitter that the governments fear have become too powerful with little accountability.”

India has issued strict new rules for Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms just weeks after the Indian government attempted to pressure Twitter to take down social media accounts it deemed, well, anti social.

The rules require any social media company to create three roles within India… a “compliance officer” who ensures they follow local laws; a “grievance officer” who addresses complaints from Indian social media users; and a “contact person” who can actually be contacted by lawyers and other aggrieved Indian parties… 24/7.

The companies are also being made to publish a compliance report each month with details about how many complaints they’ve received and the action they took.

They’ll also be required to remove ‘some’ types of content including “full or partial nudity,” any “sexual act” or “impersonations including morphed images”

The democratisation of the news model, with social media as its catalyst, will continue to baffle traditional media and governments who used to enjoy a level of control over what stories get told.

The battles of Google and Facebook, with the governments of India and Australia will be followed in plenty of other countries as well.

At the root of all discussions will be the difference between what governments THINK social media is all about and the reality about how quickly the media landscape has changed. You’ll get to read about it first, on a social media platform… probably on the screen you’re watching this news story right now.

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.

Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.

Continue Reading

Business

Turbulence ahead for Thailand’s aviation industry | VIDEO

The Thaiger

Published

on

Turbulence ahead for Thailand’s aviation industry | VIDEO | The Thaiger

When the airlines, in particular, were asking the government to put their hands in their pockets for some relief funding in August last year, it was genuinely thought that international tourists would be coming back for the high season in December and January. At the very least local tourists and expats would head back to the skies over the traditional holiday break. And surely the Chinese would be back for Chinese New Year?

As we know now, none of that happened. A resurge in cases started just south of Bangkok on December 20 last year, just before Christmas, kicking off another round of restrictions, pretty much killing off any possibility of a high season ‘bump’ for the tourist industry. Airlines slashed flights from their schedule, and hotels, which had dusted off their reception desks for the surge of tourists, shut their doors again.

Domestically, the hotel business saw 6 million room nights in the government’s latest stimulus campaign fully redeemed. But the air ticket quota of 2 million seats still has over 1.3 million seats unused. Local tourists mostly skipped flights and opted for destinations within driving distance of their homes.

As for international tourism… well that still seems months or years away, even now.

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.

Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.

Continue Reading
Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO | The Thaiger
Tourism5 days ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23 | The Thaiger
Thailand5 days ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO | The Thaiger
Tourism5 days ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21 | The Thaiger
Thailand1 month ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19 | The Thaiger
Thailand1 month ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18 | The Thaiger
Thailand1 month ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15 | The Thaiger
Thailand1 month ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14 | The Thaiger
Thailand1 month ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8

Thailand News Today | 305 infections, No happy ending for massages, Phuket quarantine mooted | Jan 7 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 months ago

Thailand News Today | 305 infections, No happy ending for massages, Phuket quarantine mooted | Jan 7

Thailand News Today | 10,000 schools closed, 900 new migrant infections, Gambling crackdown | January 6 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 months ago

Thailand News Today | 10,000 schools closed, 900 new migrant infections, Gambling crackdown | January 6

Thailand News Today | PM reverses lockdown, Southern P.D.A. crackdown, Covid update | Jan 5 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 months ago

Thailand News Today | PM reverses lockdown, Southern P.D.A. crackdown, Covid update | Jan 5

Follow The Thaiger by email:

Trending