The Phuket News Premier League predictions The Phuket News Kata Rocks The Phuket News Outrigger Koh Samui Beach Resort
The Phuket News Business News
The Phuket News Phuket | Thailand | World | Business | Q&A | Weird World XML, RSS, Feed
The Phuket News The Phuket News
The Phuket News

Small eateries reeling from labour exodus

BANGKOK: Thailand's hotel and restaurant businesses, which employ millions of alien workers, are in a spin over the new labour law endorsed on June 23.

tourism, Myanmar, economics,

Bangkok Post

Tuesday 18 July 2017, 02:36PM

A waitress takes orders at a street food stall in Bangkok's Chinatown. Photo: Bangkok Post
A waitress takes orders at a street food stall in Bangkok's Chinatown. Photo: Bangkok Post

The controversial crackdown has forced scores of restaurants to close their doors, and many travel and bus companies to stop hiring illegal workers, many of whom handle tourist luggage.

Thai Restaurant Association (TRA) president Taniwan Koonmongkol said more than 250,000 illegal workers have returned to their home countries since the implementation of the act. Millions, however, are still in the country, since their grace periods have yet to expire.

The government has given business operators six months to certify or recertify their foreign worker's permissions and job titles. Business owners who do not comply will be fined B400,000 per illegal worker.

The labour shortage has forced small food shops, and food carts to close, said Mrs Taniwan. Small shops still in operation have suffered a 30% drop in sales on average. Big food chains and financially robust companies, however, have not been affected.

There are more than 100,000 registered restaurants in Thailand, she said. These restaurants hire about 300,000 alien workers, mostly from Myanmar (60% of the total), Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia.

However, an increasing number of Filipinos are entering the country to work at luxury restaurants, hotels and language schools. Most of them have proper working permits.

"Many foreign workers will return to Thailand after they realise they can keep working until their grace period expires at the end of the year," Mrs Taniwan said.

The food business contributes B1.1 trillion into the economy. Tourist consumption accounts for B600 billion.

The TRA estimates that there are some three million registered foreign workers in Thailand of a total 10mn foreign workers. Most of them work in the manufacturing, fishing and farming sectors.

Non-registered hotels run the largest risk. Thai Hotels Association (THA) president Supawan Tanomkieatipume said the crackdown will probably have little impact on registered hotels, since they only hire certified workers.

"Registered hotel operators prefer to employ local people. Only 5% of their staff is from overseas, and they all have work permits," Mrs Supawan said.

There are more than 18,000 hotels in Thailand, but only 8,000 of these have operating licences. These leaves more than 10,000 hotels with a combined 400,000 rooms operating illegally, said the THA.

There are more than 300 illegal hotels in Bangkok, said Mrs Supawan. This includes properties like serviced apartments, guest houses, condominiums, houses and other private properties that provide accommodations for tourists.

Only 20 illegal hotels had been charged since 2014, even though the THA provided a list of properties that violate the law to the police. Each operator was fined between B3,000-10,000. Many have been charged multiple times, but continue to operate under different names.

C and C Marine

Non-registered hotels, tourist accommodations and small independent hotels are required to consult with the Interior Ministry's Department of Provincial Administration (DPA) – the unit that approves hotel licences, she said.

The TRA suggested that in the long term, business owners, especially restaurants, can avoid the foreign labour programme by issuing work permits, and group medical insurance to their staff.

"Many illegal immigrants will return in search of higher wages in Thailand. The number of registered workers will also increase in step," Mrs Taniwan said.

Restaurants would do well to keep their margins high, especially in the tourist sector. Higher profit promotes higher wages, and lower turnover rates.

The government should regulate street food quality and up its crackdown on illegal workers.

Authorities have ignored the problem of illegal labour in street food shops for far too long, Mrs Taniwan said.

"Thailand is an open country, it allows illegal workers stay. Poor law enforcement is the root of our problem," she said.

Thai Labour Minister Sirichai Dithakul recently met Myanmar Labour Minister U Thein Swe to discuss cooperation on the labour problem.

Gen Sirichai asked his Myanmar counterpart to certify or recertify workers within the next six months, before allowing them to return to Thailand. On its part, Myanmar asked Thai officials to keep them informed about the new labour act.

The crackdown on foreign labour is also hitting the transport industry. Many tour companies now lack both registered and non-registered foreign workers, said Wasuchet Sophonsatien, president of the Thai Transportation Operators Association.

"The government should help operators keep moving tourism forward," Mr Wasuchet said.


Read original story here.



The Phuket News
The Phuket News
Comment on this story
* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.
Comments Here:
    Forget your password?

Be the first to comment.

The Phuket News
The Phuket News The Phuket News The Phuket News
The Phuket News
Share this
The Phuket News
Have a news tip-off? Click here
The Phuket News
Related stories
The Phuket News
Phuket community

Recent Comments

CIB tackles illegal drone flight threat

Article made me thinking: Why is the Army not patrolling in the Deep South with drones instead with unprotected pick up trucks, ripped apart like sar...(Read More)

Phuket’s Eva Beach appeal earns demolition reprieve, says Rawai Mayor

Editor, can you please explain what this has to do with this story "Looks to me like helicopter parenting here.BTW,studies show that children of ...(Read More)

CIB tackles illegal drone flight threat

Whilst flying a drone over military or airports is important, I wish they'd sort out far more important issues....(Read More)

Pacific corals in 'worrying' state: researchers

It's the climate change. Mother Nature is showing us with more harsh weather ( stronger storms, typhoons, hurricanes, earthquakes) and signals f...(Read More)

Pacific corals in 'worrying' state: researchers

I been there in the early and seen them,the coral were still pretty much ok from my point of view.It seems nobody really cares and everybody jus...(Read More)

Phuket’s Eva Beach appeal earns demolition reprieve, says Rawai Mayor

Funny how quick someone jumps up like a rabbit out of a magicians hat,if our chief commentator is questioned! Looks to me like helicopter parenting he...(Read More)

Phuket Opinion: The rising tide of progress

Great PN piece of Opinion. Yes, Anyone living many years on Phuket island is not surprised by the floodings, etc. See Patong police station, 2 hours...(Read More)

Phuket taxi drivers charged for assaulting security guard over access to hotel guests

Wow "Might" revoke their licence's, tough talk, well done, the taxi tuk tuk mafia will be shaking in their shoes!...(Read More)

11 held in crackdown on foreign crime

As mentioned in a previous story, the ever good old Nigerians and their scams, most from that continent aren't good people, sad but true....(Read More)

Phuket Opinion: The rising tide of progress

The monkeys can be moved because no one is being paid to look the other way....(Read More)

The Phuket News
Bangkok Hospital Phuket
Weird World
The Phuket News PHUKET LIFE
Phuket Arts
Phuket Community
Phuket Culture
Phuket Dining
Phuket Education
Phuket Entertainment
Phuket Environment
Phuket Health
Phuket People
Phuket Technology
Phuket Travel
World Entertainment
Photo Galleries
The Phuket News PHUKET SPORT
Phuket Buy and Sell
Phuket Jobs
Phuket Property
Phuket Cars and Boats
Phuket Community
Phuket Services
The Phuket News The Phuket News PHUKET EVENTS
Phuket Event listings
Phuket Event calendar
Buy Tickets
Phuket Bars, pubs and clubs
Phuket Hotels and villas
Phuket Restaurants
Phuket Yellow Pages
The Phuket News BARGAINS
The Phuket News ABOUT US
The Company
Distribution points
Advertise with us
Pay for advert
Contact us
Content Google Map
Site map
Australian Visa Services
Currency - The Phuket News   Weather Report - The Phuket News   Surf Report - The Phuket News
LinkedIn - The Phuket News   Twitter - The Phuket News   YouTube - The Phuket News   Facebook - The Phuket News
Copyright © 2017 Class Act Media. All rights reserved. | Website usage terms and conditions | Privacy and Confidentiality Statement.