Meanwhile, the Phuket Governor has urged that no officials extort money from migrant worker following the latest crackdown on illegal foreign labour.
Yesterday (July 6) at Phuket Provincial Hall, Mr Prasart Boontantraphiwat, a representative of construction operators in Phuket, Mr Wirachai Sedsom President of the Phuket Construction Entrepreneur Association and others member met with Governor Norraphat Plodthong asking him to help saying they had been left badly affected by the recent crackdown on illegal foreign labour.
Mr Prasart said, “The new penalties for breaches of labour laws was introduced on June 23. The penalties for employers have been increased up to B800,000. Illegal migrant workers may be fined B2,000-100,000 or imprisoned up to five years.
“This new penalty has forced some migrant workers to return home and we now lack workers. We request that the government sets up the migrant workers registration again, and that a proof of nationality centre is set up in Phuket.
“In addition, we want the Phuket Employment Office’s system to improve, it must be faster,” he said.
Mr Wirachai added, “Contractors in Phuket have been directly affected from the new Royal Decree.
“There are three types of migrant workers in Thailand; first are the illegal migrant workers. The government tried to solve this problem by having an MoU. However, the cost of the registration process were expensive, some workers were not deemed skillful enough, and some escaped. So we wanted migrant workers to be allowed to register again.
“The others two groups of migrant workers are migrant workers with all required documentation and migrant workers with incomplete documentation.”
Gov Norraphat said, “We have to discuss and find solutions to solve the problems. We (Phuket Provincial Office) understand the problem that contractors are now having to face.
“At this stage the Phuket Employment Office will do draw out the process for migrant worker registration and this will be done with no extra money being taken from migrant workers.
“Extorting money from migrant workers must not happen. If we find this is happening officials must face legal action,” Gov Norraphat said.
Also yesterday the CEO of a major construction firm that has been involved more than 40 projects in Phuket amounting to more than B10 billion flamed government officials for being too slow and using over-complicated application processes for creating the migrant worker crisis currently evolving across the country.
“This is affecting everyone in the construction businesses, but especially the smaller construction firms, as they do not have the human resources to deal with this,” Watchara Jaruariyanon, CEO of Vasi Co Ltd, told The Phuket News.
“Complicated official processes and officials working too slowly has led to small construction firms seeking out and hiring illegal migrants for their businesses,” he added. (See story here.)
On June 27, the Chief of the Phuket Employment Office (PEO) cautioned foreigners and employers to be aware of a raft of new penalties for breaches of labour law introduced on June 23.
The warning followed the newly issued “Emergency Decree” on “Management Immigrant Work” dated June 17, which came into effect on June 23.
“To all employers and foreign employees, please be careful, because some of these new penalties are very harsh,” PEO Chief Pitool Dumsakorn told The Phuket News. (See story here)