The group filed their case with the Damrongdharma Center (Ombudsman’s office) and the Labor Protection Social Security Office.
Myanmar national Min Thu Khu, 27, explained that the workers’ predicament began back in May, when many of the workers filed for the income support they are entitled to under Section 33 of the Social Security Act.
Section 33 entitles employees to receive compensation during a period of work cessation at a rate of 62% of their daily wages contributions to the Social Security Office. This entitlement is limited to a maximum of 90 days, which has now long expired.
However, some of the workers did not receive any those government payments, Mr min Thu Khu said.
“Until now, we still have not received any help,” he added.
The workers’ employer, Tiger Group, which in normal times operates key nightlife entertainment venues in Patong, had repeatedly delayed talks with the workers, Mr Min Thu Khu said.
“We had another appointment to talk with them today [Aug 4], but they postponed it again until Aug 13,” he said.
“We want our employer to pay us employees our outstanding salaries. The employer has never come to ask us about this at all,” he said.
A legal representative from the Department of Labour Protection and Welfare (DLPW) Phuket office soon arrived to speak with the group.
“For this case, we need to talk with a legal counsel and relevant officials first,” he said.
“The payments from the Social Security Office are still available, but as some of these workers have still not received their payments, we will have officials check what has happened with their claims, check the facts and speed up the process,” he added.
“Right now, even though we do not have any new infections of COVID-19, the economic situation is still deteriorating, especially the tourism industry, which is suffering badly.
“Business operators must find ways to reduce costs, but if an employer finds it necessary to terminate employment, then they must pay compensation as required by law,” the labour official said.
“The current situation is still a concern for the coming months. Some places will remain shut down, others will close permanently. If the situation does not improve, business operators may have to lay off more employees,” he added.