Thailand’s businesses appeal to government to lower labour import cost

Photo by Flickr/Gerry Popplestone.

Thai businesses say they need more workers, and have appealed to the Labour Ministry to reduce costs of importing migrant workers from surrounding countries like Myanmar and Cambodia. Labour ministers said business operators are concerned that if not enough workers are brought in on time, their businesses won’t be able to meet orders and will have to pay fines. PM Prayut is especially concerned about the construction industry, which relies a lot on migrant workers.

A vice chairman for labour affairs said the labour shortage has become critical, and the estimated deficit is half a million. He says the Immigration Bureau should reduce visa fees from 2,000 baht to 500 baht per person, and that vaccinated migrant workers should have shorter quarantine times in Thailand. The chairman suggests the labour minister discuss legalising undocumented migrant workers who are already in Thailand.

Businesses have submitted 1,813 requests to bring in 113,717 workers via the Memorandum of Understandings, which is a labour agreement between Thailand and neighbouring countries. But so far, only 300 Cambodian workers have come to Thailand to be employed under the agreement.

This news comes a week after a government spokesman said police and labour officials were told to check factories to make sure they weren’t hiring illegal workers. The spokesman called for a crackdown on people smuggling illegal workers into Thailand.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.

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