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Thai berry-pickers from Sweden and Finland return home after salary windfall

Thaiger

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Thai berry-pickers from Sweden and Finland have returned home after striking the jackpot during the prime picking season. The Thai labourers have reportedly earned almost 800 million baht in the last 3 months. Thailand’s Labour Minister Suchart Chomklin says the workers arrived back today and were happily not empty-handed.

“Today, 895 Thai labourers returned home via Suvarnabhumi Airport, 365 of them from Finland and 530 from Sweden. They had been working there since July during the berry-picking season. Since October 1, 3,270 Thai labourers have returned from these countries (689 from Finland and 2,581 from Sweden) where they got paid around 80,000 baht per month, or total earnings of almost 800 million baht.”

Suchart says sending such labourers overseas is one of the ministry’s missions after PM Prayut set out to promote the skills of Thais in international markets to assure the world of Thailand’s Covid-19 prevention efficiency. That mission saw almost 5,300 Thais landing in Sweden and Finland for work. After the berry-picking season ended, Thai labourers are trickling back into the country until October 23.

He says that those Thais returning home are being screened and transported to alternative state quarantine or organisation quarantine facilities for a mandatory 14 day stay.

SOURCE: The Nation Thailand

 

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14 Comments

14 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Ynwaps

    Saturday, October 10, 2020 at 2:54 pm

    800 million baht is what a company can ask that can automate the whole process.

    “Suchart says sending such labourers overseas is one of the ministry’s missions after PM Prayut set out to promote the skills of Thais in international markets to assure the world of Thailand’s Covid-19 prevention efficiency.”

  2. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Saturday, October 10, 2020 at 10:52 pm

    Well is there any chance of Swedish fruit pickers being allowed into Thailand.
    Of course not. The Thais want to be treated as needing special treatment because they are supposed from the third world and entitled, yet any foreigner tries to work in Thailand, even running his own business and they are arrested.
    What is this dictator tyrant talking about promoting the skills of Thais – they are picking fruit!!

    • Avatar

      Michael Wallentin

      Saturday, October 17, 2020 at 12:07 am

      @Toby Andrews – Will those Swedish fruit pickers then be happy with the maximum of 300 THB a day, which you resently stated was more than enough for Thai people……Guess not.
      What I do guess, based on your many, many negative comments about Thailand, that you don’t even live or have ever visited Thailand 🙂

      • Avatar

        Issan John

        Monday, January 18, 2021 at 1:52 pm

        Actually, Michael, Toby A lived in Pattaya for six years until last year when his visa ran out and he couldn’t renew it.

        Luckily he didn’t want to as he’d had enough of Thailand’s “corruption” and the “dictatorship” and people not being allowed to protest about a lack of “democracy” so as a mano of principle he left and went to Phnom Penh, Cambodia … where of course there’s no corruption, no dictatorship, and plenty of open democracy ….

  3. Avatar

    Albert Zweistein

    Sunday, October 11, 2020 at 2:54 am

    How come the heavy work in Thailand is done by Birmese/Cambodians and not by the “skilled “Thai men ? And who pay for their quarantine ?

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Monday, January 18, 2021 at 2:30 pm

      Quarantine for any Thais returning to Thailand is free in State Quarantine; any Thais wanting to upgrade that to ASQ or ALSQ pay the same as anyone else / farangs.

      It’s not just the “heavy work” in Thailand that’s “dine by Birmese/Cambodians” as some is and some’s done by Thais, but plenty of skilled and semi-skilled work as well covering everything from crewing fishing boats to glass blowing. Despite what’s said here about 6 million unemployed (which would be around 20% of the workforce 🙂 ) unemployment’s still relatively low and it would take people time to train up even to work in canning factories – even if they want to do the jobs given the T & Cs.

      Like anywhere else, it’s not just about the money or even the skill and even if unemployment’s high there are still plenty of jobs people don’t want to do. Take the UK where unemployment is 5% and growing, but the Army’s still 10% under strength even though it’s literally half the size it was 30 years ago, 10% – 15% (at least for a while) were recruited from the Commonwealth and 5% are from Nepal, and fitness and health standards have been dropped dramatically.

      In Hong Kong, despite no shortage of cheap Chinese labour, there’s a sizeable Nepalese workforce in the construction industry doing plumbing and wiring, and in Cambodia when I was first there twenty years ago all the “professional” girls free-lancing in Le Royal Hotel in Phnom Penh were Vietnamese.

  4. Avatar

    WillyWally

    Sunday, October 11, 2020 at 11:26 am

    That’s much better pay than I make after living in Thailand for decades.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Monday, January 18, 2021 at 2:38 pm

      It sounds good, but bear in mind that although it’s 80,000 a month it’s only for three months every year and they’re not only not going to make a lot less than that for the rest of the year but they won’t be on an annual salary for the rest of the year so they won’t be getting any annual pay rises, or annual bonuses, or qualifying for any low interest loans.

      It’s a bit like the annual influx of East-Europeans picking fruit and veg in the UK.

  5. Avatar

    RR

    Sunday, October 11, 2020 at 10:34 pm

    I wonder where these alleged swedish berries are going. Most of berries sold in central europe comes from south america. strange economy

    • Avatar

      Scandi

      Monday, October 12, 2020 at 10:53 pm

      They are picking wild blueberries from forests.Blueberries grow only near artic circle and are mainly used in nordic markets.Lot is also sold in Japan.

      • Avatar

        RR

        Wednesday, October 14, 2020 at 6:01 am

        The blueberries I buy are from Peru, which is not near arctic circle. There are varieties of wild blueberry also from south american countries along the andean mountians.

  6. Avatar

    Ling

    Thursday, October 15, 2020 at 8:09 pm

    Are they talking before or after tax earnings? What will they say when they realize that half of their monthly payment €2200 actually is held back and goes to the Swedish/Finish tax and social security system?

  7. Avatar

    Scandi

    Thursday, October 15, 2020 at 9:50 pm

    In Finland picking forest berries and selling them is tax free for everybody.

  8. Avatar

    Jj

    Saturday, October 17, 2020 at 11:53 am

    They are picking Blueberries, Cloud Berries and Lingonberries. from forests and northern swamp areas of Rinland.
    There are lot of different blueberries species this is Northern European one. In Finland berries are used by local food industries and sold
    directly to consumers. And no we dont have robots to pick up berries from forests and these berries are not planted either.
    Even someone invents robot 😉 that need permission from land owner to be used.
    In Finland anyone can go any forest to pick up berries without land owner permission.

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Illegal border crossings bringing in new Covid-19 infections

Neill Fronde

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PHOTO: Covid-19 infected border hoppers cross borders like this one betwen Malaysia and Thailand (via Wikimedia)

Authorities are worried about illegal border crossings into Thailand bringing in the Coronavirus after 5 recent Covid-19 infections from such crossings. Bypassing all health and security checkpoints along the border, 5 Thai nationals were identified today as being positive for Covid-19 after they snuck into the country, according to the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration.

Authorities nabbed 2 after border crossings from Malaysia illegally on April 28 and May 3rd, while another snuck across the Burmese border into Tak on May 2. The last 2 came from Cambodia on Thursday across the Sa Kaeo border. All 5 illegal border crossers are now in state hospitals for Covid-19 treatment.

According to CCSA data in the first four months of 2021 a total of 15,378 people were arrested by Thai authorities while sneaking across borders. Even after security forces increased patrolling along the borders, people managed to sneak in from Myanmar, Malaysia, Laos, and Cambodia. 6,700 of those who crossed the border were Burmese citizens, while another 1,700 of them were Thai nationals.

With nearly 400 lives lost to Covid-19 and over 83,000 people having been infected in the pandemic, the CCSA declared that Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and National Security Council Secretary-General Natthapol Nakpanich agree that these illegal border crossers without Covid-19 screening are a serious problem.

Many Thai people work in Malaysia and as the pandemic drags on they are sneaking across the border, desperate to make it home to their family. Another recent case found illegal Burmese border hoppers in a taxi en route to Hat Yai after they crossed into Thailand from the Malaysian border. They were trying to travel incognito across Thailand in order to cross the border again back into their home country of Myanmar.

The dilemma is even worse at the Burmese border as the often violent protests following the February 1 military coup has been pushing much of the country into poverty, and creating refugees who are flocking to the border in hopes of crossing over to safety. Many are seeking to escape the conflict and find work in Thailand.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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Economy

Thailand Consumer Confidence Index hits record low

Neill Fronde

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PHOTO: Thailand's Consumer Confidence index slips again to below the pre-pandemic record. (via CNN)

The University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce has reported that the Consumer Confidence Index has hit another new record low of 46.0 in April. The Covid-19 global pandemic has had a devastating effect on the economy and consumer confidence has fallen frequently to the lowest points that it has seen since 1998.

The president of the UTTC believes that consumers generally don’t feel like there has been much of a recovery for the economy since the global pandemic began and without a stimulating event to motivate economic growth, the index is expected to continue to fall further. The university estimated that if the third wave of Covid-19 continues past the end of May the economy can expect to lose 400 to 600 billion baht.

The UTTC president stressed that the government should hasten to step up relief measures and make sure they continue relief and economic stimulus throughout the pandemic to avoid economic catastrophe. He predicted that the economy and the Consumer Confidence Index will continue on a downward slope without any hope of improvement until the vaccine rollout gets well underway towards herd immunity, and new Covid-19 infections are decreased dramatically.

Today saw another 2,101 new Covid-19 infections and 17 deaths in Thailand. Vaccination efforts are continually being stepped up, but still remain woefully slow.

The Consumer Confidence Index first started falling last year, with a drop below the previous record low in 1998 in April of 2020, when it fell to 47.2. A few months later, by July of last year, it had recovered significantly, climbing back over 50. But by March of this year, the index had fallen again to 48.5. With April’s tumble of 2.5 points, the Consumer Confidence Index pushes once again to a new record low.

SOURCE: Thai Business News

 

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Thailand

Thailand searches for cow vaccine for lumpy skin disease

Neill Fronde

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PHOTO: An example of a cow with Lumpy Skin Disease. (via newindianexpress)

Move over Covid-19 there’s a new disease sweeping the country as Thailand’s cow population is afflicted with a lumpy skin disease. The Department of Livestock Development is now working on procuring vaccines from overseas manufacturers to import and treat the cattle population in Thailand. The lumpy skin is caused by pustules that are the most visible symptom, perhaps more detectable than other bovine signs such as drooling, loss of appetite and drowsiness.

The cow disease is spreading in the North, Northeast, and Central Plains area of Thailand and has been found in 18 provinces total. First identified in Roi Et, it has now spread in Chiang Rai, Kalasin, Kanchanaburi, Khon Kaen, Maha Sarakham, Nakhon Pathom, and Nakhon Phanom. The first case of the lumpy skin disease was reported in Don Daeng village last month and on April 9th officials reported it to the World Organisation for Animal Health.

The lumpy skin disease is found in cow pens and spread through flies, ticks, and mosquitoes, but the DLD says not to panic, it is not transmissible to humans. The department is distributing important information about symptoms and how the disease spreads to breeders and farmers in the area. They’re requiring the breeders to monitor their cattle closely and have imposed measures to control the disease in heavy hit areas.

To prevent the spread of disease in livestock, traders are being requested to not buy and sell cattle within 50 km from disease-stricken regions. And for farmers caring for cattle, the DLD recommends spraying insecticide in all areas to prevent transmission via insects. Finally, in case the cattle were jealous of traveling humans, the DLD is advising farmers to prevent disease spread by isolating any new cow that comes into their farms with a 28-day bovine quarantine where they should be kept under nets to keep insects away.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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