Connect with us

Thailand

Migrant worker exodus hits agriculture, construction sectors

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published

 on 

PHUKET MEDIA WATCH

– Thailand news selected by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

Migrant worker exodus hits agriculture, construction sectors
The Nation / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: Of the more than 100,000 Cambodian workers who fled Thailand, 60-70 per cent were in the construction and agricultural sector in the East, permanent secretary for Labour Jeerasak Sukhonthachart said yesterday.

Over the past week, more than 100,000 Cambodian workers in Thailand have returned home following rumours that the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) was planning to crack down on them.

The Labour Ministry has said it would launch a project to systematically move documented workers to the areas abandoned by the departed Cambodians.

However, the Thai-Cambodian Border Trade and Tourism Association of Chanthaburi province has predicted the Cambodian workers would return to Thailand within a few weeks because Thai wages are at least three times higher than those in Cambodia.

Speaking to 1,500 employers and migrant workers in Chon Buri’s Sri Racha district yesterday, Jeerasak said Rayong had seen 30,000 documented Cambodian workers and possibly another 30,000 undocumented ones departing Thailand.

Crackdown aimed at traffickers

He said the NCPO’s crackdown was aimed not at individual workers but at human trafficking to punish procuring persons, the employers and benefit-reaping officials.

Under a project to tackle the suddden labour shortage, employers could inform their provincial employment office about the number of migrant workers needed, their sex, work details, wages and welfare.

The office could then contact other employment offices with plentiful migrant workers to invite them to work in the affected areas, he added.

Business operators also urged the waiving of the Bt1,000 fee per worker charged in cases of migrant worker relocation.

Chon Buri employment official Pichit Nilthongkham said the province’s 90,000 documented workers included some 40,000 Cambodians. The worker exodus – although mostly by undocumented Cambodians – affected all sectors especially agriculture and fisheries, followed by construction and tourism and hospitality. Pichit said Thai authorities tried to have employers keep records of migrant workers for easier checking. At the same time, other business operators could be asked to “lend” their workers to the hard-hit agricultural sector.

The chairman of Sri Racha district’s club of migrant workers, Min Lin Sao, said 200 out of the club’s 300 members had departed Thailand. He said he would relay the official message to club members that the Army and the police would not mistreat the workers.

He said many understood this and had continued to work as usual.

Rayong Chamber of Commerce chair Anuchida Chinsiraprapha said the Cambodian workers’ exodus had affected businesses on the tourist island of Koh Samet.

SMEs suffering

Despite attempts by Thai authorities to allay foreign workers’ concerns, most remained worried and their departures had impacted small- and medium-sized enterprises, she said. All 500 Cambodian workers on Koh Samet had left local shops, restaurants and hotels and consequently there was little labour on duty in the service sector there.

The shortage was also severe in the agricultural sector as there were no workers to harvest fruit or tap latex, she said, warning the problem would expand to fisheries and the para wood (natural rubber tree) industries.

Fruit orchard owners in Rayong’s Muang district, meanwhile, claimed they had to hire Thai workers at Bt500 a day – compared to the Bt300 a day paid to Cambodians. Orchard-owner Somkuan Prangsri said, “Thai workers also aren’t as skilled in fruit-picking as the migrant workers we used to hire, so we get low-quality produce bringing down the price of fruit.”

However, some Cambodian workers are reportedly returning to Pong Nam Ron and Soi Dao districts in Chanthaburi province, as they need wages to support their families.

Some Cambodians told their Thai employers they would be back after preparing their documents to seek legal immigration into Thailand.

Former energy minister Pichai Naripthaphan commented that the re-organising of Thailand’s 5-6 million migrant workers, documented or otherwise, should be carefully implemented as an exodus could severely affect the country’s economy already hampered by the unrest.

He urged the authority to take into consideration the upcoming Asean Economic Community that promoted a free flow of labour.

Meanwhile, Chulalongkorn University academic Panitan Wattanayagorn backed the plan to have some 2 million illegal workers registered into a proper system, which would also give them basic rights |protection and boost Thailand’s image.

Many provinces – such as Nakhon Ratchasima, Tak and Songkhla – have seen Thai authorities adopting public relations to help employers and migrant workers understand the situation and dismiss talk of a violent crackdown on Cambodian workers.

Cambodian Interior Minister Sar Kheng placed the blame for the crisis squarely at Bangkok’s door, AFP reported yesterday.

“After the military coup in Thailand, the Thai military leaders sent illegal Cambodian migrant workers in a rush without informing and discussing with Cambodia,” he said in Phnom Penh, adding that eight people had been killed in traffic accidents linked to the exodus.

“I think that the current leaders of the Thai junta must be held accountable for what has happened.”

Sar Kheng, who is also deputy prime minister, said Cambodian migrants had helped boost the Thai economy, which is the second-largest in Southeast Asia and draws large numbers of migrants from its neighbours.

“So when they deported them, there will be a problem. According to my informal information, [Thai] employers have started to protest against the issue,” he said.

— Phuket Gazette Editors

 

Get more from The Thaiger

Looking for your next home in Thailand? Let us match you with a local expert in minutes!

Thank you for your interest!

One of our agents will
reach out to you soon.

I want to:
  • Thailand (ไทย)+66
  • United States+1
  • United Kingdom+44
  • Australia+61
  • Afghanistan (‫افغانستان‬‎)+93
  • Albania (Shqipëri)+355
  • Algeria (‫الجزائر‬‎)+213
  • American Samoa+1684
  • Andorra+376
  • Angola+244
  • Anguilla+1264
  • Antigua and Barbuda+1268
  • Argentina+54
  • Armenia (Հայաստան)+374
  • Aruba+297
  • Australia+61
  • Austria (Österreich)+43
  • Azerbaijan (Azərbaycan)+994
  • Bahamas+1242
  • Bahrain (‫البحرين‬‎)+973
  • Bangladesh (বাংলাদেশ)+880
  • Barbados+1246
  • Belarus (Беларусь)+375
  • Belgium (België)+32
  • Belize+501
  • Benin (Bénin)+229
  • Bermuda+1441
  • Bhutan (འབྲུག)+975
  • Bolivia+591
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina (Босна и Херцеговина)+387
  • Botswana+267
  • Brazil (Brasil)+55
  • British Indian Ocean Territory+246
  • British Virgin Islands+1284
  • Brunei+673
  • Bulgaria (България)+359
  • Burkina Faso+226
  • Burundi (Uburundi)+257
  • Cambodia (កម្ពុជា)+855
  • Cameroon (Cameroun)+237
  • Canada+1
  • Cape Verde (Kabu Verdi)+238
  • Caribbean Netherlands+599
  • Cayman Islands+1345
  • Central African Republic (République centrafricaine)+236
  • Chad (Tchad)+235
  • Chile+56
  • China (中国)+86
  • Christmas Island+61
  • Cocos (Keeling) Islands+61
  • Colombia+57
  • Comoros (‫جزر القمر‬‎)+269
  • Congo (DRC) (Jamhuri ya Kidemokrasia ya Kongo)+243
  • Congo (Republic) (Congo-Brazzaville)+242
  • Cook Islands+682
  • Costa Rica+506
  • Côte d’Ivoire+225
  • Croatia (Hrvatska)+385
  • Cuba+53
  • Curaçao+599
  • Cyprus (Κύπρος)+357
  • Czech Republic (Česká republika)+420
  • Denmark (Danmark)+45
  • Djibouti+253
  • Dominica+1767
  • Dominican Republic (República Dominicana)+1
  • Ecuador+593
  • Egypt (‫مصر‬‎)+20
  • El Salvador+503
  • Equatorial Guinea (Guinea Ecuatorial)+240
  • Eritrea+291
  • Estonia (Eesti)+372
  • Ethiopia+251
  • Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)+500
  • Faroe Islands (Føroyar)+298
  • Fiji+679
  • Finland (Suomi)+358
  • France+33
  • French Guiana (Guyane française)+594
  • French Polynesia (Polynésie française)+689
  • Gabon+241
  • Gambia+220
  • Georgia (საქართველო)+995
  • Germany (Deutschland)+49
  • Ghana (Gaana)+233
  • Gibraltar+350
  • Greece (Ελλάδα)+30
  • Greenland (Kalaallit Nunaat)+299
  • Grenada+1473
  • Guadeloupe+590
  • Guam+1671
  • Guatemala+502
  • Guernsey+44
  • Guinea (Guinée)+224
  • Guinea-Bissau (Guiné Bissau)+245
  • Guyana+592
  • Haiti+509
  • Honduras+504
  • Hong Kong (香港)+852
  • Hungary (Magyarország)+36
  • Iceland (Ísland)+354
  • India (भारत)+91
  • Indonesia+62
  • Iran (‫ایران‬‎)+98
  • Iraq (‫العراق‬‎)+964
  • Ireland+353
  • Isle of Man+44
  • Israel (‫ישראל‬‎)+972
  • Italy (Italia)+39
  • Jamaica+1
  • Japan (日本)+81
  • Jersey+44
  • Jordan (‫الأردن‬‎)+962
  • Kazakhstan (Казахстан)+7
  • Kenya+254
  • Kiribati+686
  • Kosovo+383
  • Kuwait (‫الكويت‬‎)+965
  • Kyrgyzstan (Кыргызстан)+996
  • Laos (ລາວ)+856
  • Latvia (Latvija)+371
  • Lebanon (‫لبنان‬‎)+961
  • Lesotho+266
  • Liberia+231
  • Libya (‫ليبيا‬‎)+218
  • Liechtenstein+423
  • Lithuania (Lietuva)+370
  • Luxembourg+352
  • Macau (澳門)+853
  • Macedonia (FYROM) (Македонија)+389
  • Madagascar (Madagasikara)+261
  • Malawi+265
  • Malaysia+60
  • Maldives+960
  • Mali+223
  • Malta+356
  • Marshall Islands+692
  • Martinique+596
  • Mauritania (‫موريتانيا‬‎)+222
  • Mauritius (Moris)+230
  • Mayotte+262
  • Mexico (México)+52
  • Micronesia+691
  • Moldova (Republica Moldova)+373
  • Monaco+377
  • Mongolia (Монгол)+976
  • Montenegro (Crna Gora)+382
  • Montserrat+1664
  • Morocco (‫المغرب‬‎)+212
  • Mozambique (Moçambique)+258
  • Myanmar (Burma) (မြန်မာ)+95
  • Namibia (Namibië)+264
  • Nauru+674
  • Nepal (नेपाल)+977
  • Netherlands (Nederland)+31
  • New Caledonia (Nouvelle-Calédonie)+687
  • New Zealand+64
  • Nicaragua+505
  • Niger (Nijar)+227
  • Nigeria+234
  • Niue+683
  • Norfolk Island+672
  • North Korea (조선 민주주의 인민 공화국)+850
  • Northern Mariana Islands+1670
  • Norway (Norge)+47
  • Oman (‫عُمان‬‎)+968
  • Pakistan (‫پاکستان‬‎)+92
  • Palau+680
  • Palestine (‫فلسطين‬‎)+970
  • Panama (Panamá)+507
  • Papua New Guinea+675
  • Paraguay+595
  • Peru (Perú)+51
  • Philippines+63
  • Poland (Polska)+48
  • Portugal+351
  • Puerto Rico+1
  • Qatar (‫قطر‬‎)+974
  • Réunion (La Réunion)+262
  • Romania (România)+40
  • Russia (Россия)+7
  • Rwanda+250
  • Saint Barthélemy+590
  • Saint Helena+290
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis+1869
  • Saint Lucia+1758
  • Saint Martin (Saint-Martin (partie française))+590
  • Saint Pierre and Miquelon (Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon)+508
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines+1784
  • Samoa+685
  • San Marino+378
  • São Tomé and Príncipe (São Tomé e Príncipe)+239
  • Saudi Arabia (‫المملكة العربية السعودية‬‎)+966
  • Senegal (Sénégal)+221
  • Serbia (Србија)+381
  • Seychelles+248
  • Sierra Leone+232
  • Singapore+65
  • Sint Maarten+1721
  • Slovakia (Slovensko)+421
  • Slovenia (Slovenija)+386
  • Solomon Islands+677
  • Somalia (Soomaaliya)+252
  • South Africa+27
  • South Korea (대한민국)+82
  • South Sudan (‫جنوب السودان‬‎)+211
  • Spain (España)+34
  • Sri Lanka (ශ්‍රී ලංකාව)+94
  • Sudan (‫السودان‬‎)+249
  • Suriname+597
  • Svalbard and Jan Mayen+47
  • Swaziland+268
  • Sweden (Sverige)+46
  • Switzerland (Schweiz)+41
  • Syria (‫سوريا‬‎)+963
  • Taiwan (台灣)+886
  • Tajikistan+992
  • Tanzania+255
  • Thailand (ไทย)+66
  • Timor-Leste+670
  • Togo+228
  • Tokelau+690
  • Tonga+676
  • Trinidad and Tobago+1868
  • Tunisia (‫تونس‬‎)+216
  • Turkey (Türkiye)+90
  • Turkmenistan+993
  • Turks and Caicos Islands+1649
  • Tuvalu+688
  • U.S. Virgin Islands+1340
  • Uganda+256
  • Ukraine (Україна)+380
  • United Arab Emirates (‫الإمارات العربية المتحدة‬‎)+971
  • United Kingdom+44
  • United States+1
  • Uruguay+598
  • Uzbekistan (Oʻzbekiston)+998
  • Vanuatu+678
  • Vatican City (Città del Vaticano)+39
  • Venezuela+58
  • Vietnam (Việt Nam)+84
  • Wallis and Futuna (Wallis-et-Futuna)+681
  • Western Sahara (‫الصحراء الغربية‬‎)+212
  • Yemen (‫اليمن‬‎)+967
  • Zambia+260
  • Zimbabwe+263
  • Åland Islands+358

    image

    Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

    Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

    Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

    Click to comment

    You must be logged in to post a comment Login

    Leave a Reply

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

    image

    Follow Thaiger by email:

    Guides59 mins ago

    Take a workation at these 5 best places in Koh Samui

    Thailand1 hour ago

    Thailand’s monkeys are starving due to fear of monkeypox

    Events1 hour ago

    Deep Week in Phuket – The world’s largest open freediving festival

    Sponsored10 hours ago

    Make your dream vacation at these 5 grandest luxury villas in Phuket

    image
    Thailand2 hours ago

    Thailand News Today | Thai Govt announces “zero road deaths” policy

    Economy2 hours ago

    Saudi deal to inject ‘billions’ into Thai economy

    Phuket2 hours ago

    Phuket looks for new groundwater sources to cope with acute water shortages

    image
    Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
    Chon Buri2 hours ago

    Chon Buri garage owner found dead after alleged misunderstanding over bike

    Bangkok2 hours ago

    Taxi’s brakes fail causing 10 vehicle accident in Bangkok

    Travel3 hours ago

    Where to buy electronics in Thailand 2022

    Economy3 hours ago

    Thai PM suggest people only drive for “essential journeys”

    Crime4 hours ago

    Road rage incident leaves truck driver traumatised

    Chon Buri4 hours ago

    Mayor says more changes to come at Pattaya’s Jomtien beach

    Road deaths5 hours ago

    UPDATE: French woman dies riding bicycle in central Thailand

    Crime5 hours ago

    Man arrested for smuggling durian trees valued at 1 million baht to Laos

    Politics5 hours ago

    UPDATE: Thai political activists left to rot in jail

    Thailand8 months ago

    Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

    Thailand1 year ago

    Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

    Tourism1 year ago

    Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

    Phuket1 year ago

    Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

    Tourism1 year ago

    Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

    Thailand1 year ago

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

    Tourism1 year ago

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

    Thailand1 year ago

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

    Thailand1 year ago

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

    Thailand1 year ago

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

    Thailand1 year ago

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

    Thailand1 year ago

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

    Thailand1 year ago

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

    Thailand1 year ago

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

    Thailand1 year ago

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

    Trending