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Migrant worker clampdown leaves Phuket constructors seeking help

PHUKET: Constructors who say they have been affected by the new Emergency Decree on “Management Immigrant Work” have sought help from government officials.

By Eakkapop Thongtub

Friday 7 July 2017, 03:24PM

Constructors visit Provincial Hall yesterday seeking help from Governor Norraphat Plodthong following the latest crackdown on migrant workers. Photo: PR Dept

Constructors visit Provincial Hall yesterday seeking help from Governor Norraphat Plodthong following the latest crackdown on migrant workers. Photo: PR Dept

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)



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Jor12 | 08 July 2017 - 17:31:51

SueOriginal...if you properly read the article which you quote, what you are suggesting is not correct - unemployment is not low.  It\'s the old adage \"figures don\'t lie but liars can figure.\"   

SueOriginal | 08 July 2017 - 14:11:27


what an uninformed view on WHY employers can not bring Thai workforce:

because there is not much in supply, as unemployment rare in Thailand is extremely low; as of April 2017 it stands just at 1.2%. 

Also, I don't know in which world you are living: if you would look around in Phuket you will find so many unfilled vacancies that go for months and some even for years - to comp...

Christy Sweet | 08 July 2017 - 09:42:54

Quote; \"Phuket Governor has urged that no officials extort money from migrant worker following the latest crackdown on illegal foreign labour...\"
 So from the Governor\'s wording (assuming translation is correct)  can it  be surmised officials often extort from migrants, but should refrain in this case?  

Bigaresort | 08 July 2017 - 08:35:08

So this is an other exuse to blame somebody else for can not finish a project on time!Thats why there are now only 7 and not 11 workers at the NEW Underpass in Rawai at any time!

yvonne | 08 July 2017 - 01:28:55

So WHY  did they not bring in unemployed Thai People from other Provinces  who need and wanted  jobs in the first place  to do the work and NOT bringing in  FOREIGNERS? I is all BECAUSE of money and greed and the Thailand  minimum wage avoiding !! THAT is the reason. So bad luck now for you and in future employ THAI People that need jobs !.

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