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Unpaid Myanmar workers protest at Labour office

Unpaid Myanmar workers protest at Labour office

PHUKET: More than 100 Myanmar workers descended on the Department of Labour Protection and Welfare (DLPW) Phuket office in Phuket Town yesterday (Mar 18) in protest as they had not received their salary last month.

MyanmarpoliceCoronavirusCOVID-19
By Eakkapop Thongtub

Thursday 19 March 2020, 01:23PM


A total of 140 employees of Hat Yai Nantakorn Co Ltd were picked up by two ten-wheel trucks from their camp in Ban Bangjo in Srisoonthorn and taken to the DLPW office.

Phuket City police were notified and Chief Col Theerawat Liamsuwan, Capt Songchai Puangrod, and 30 officers were dispatched to the scene around midday to control and resolve the situation.

The police ordered four representatives from the Hat Yai Nantakorn company to liaise with DLPW Phuket Office Chief Wiang Suwanna and several of the disgruntled workers representing the wider group, enlisting the assistance of an interpreter by the name of Mr Huawei.

“One of the workers explained that the company had not paid the workers their owed salary for the period Feb 16-29, despite the promise it would be done so on Mar 5,” explained Capt Songchai.

A human resources representative from the company assured they would be paid later that day at the company offices and also promised the next payment, for the period Mar 1-18, will be paid tomorrow (Mar 20).

Satisfied with the agreement, the workers were then picked up by the same trucks and taken to the company premises to receive their outstanding pay.

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The police added that, should a similar situation occur in future, the workers were advised not to gather en masse and protest but that they should send a representative to the DLPW office to resolve the situation.

“They will not be charged over this situation today,” Capt Songchai confirmed.

Chief Wiang stated that the negotiations between employer and employee had concluded successfully but expressed a note of caution moving forward in regards to the continued spread and impact of the coronavirus.

“After the outbreak of COVID-19, we have been a mediator between employer and employee more frequently,” he said.

“If the spread of the virus is not controlled soon many businesses may suffer meaning employers may be forced to cut their staff and the number of unemployed will keep increasing,” he concluded.

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Kurt | 22 March 2020 - 13:45:58

Chief Wiang, nonsense talk about 'spread of virus' bla bla. You better think about the Myanmar employees who go home and leave the thai employers without workers. Than a thai employer is not a employer anymore. Right? There is no thai employer who controls the virus break out. They simply not care about it. So, just empty nonsense talk.

Kurt | 22 March 2020 - 11:29:50

..and not at all Myanmar workers. See how thai employers house them in baking steel shacks at deplorable dirty locations, and if possible pay them lesser than the by thai law sett minimum wages. The modern slavery in Thailand in full sunlight, mind wise supported by thai police. ( see the photos)

Kurt | 22 March 2020 - 11:24:27

..Instead of saying: "They ( the 1 month unpaid Myanmar workers) will not be charged over the situation today". What to charge? They not committed any crime. The police should investigate the thai employer instead, for not paying foreign staff. That police captain sworn a oat, "To serve and to protect".  Ooh, of course that only regards thai, not foreigners, and not at all Myan...

Kurt | 22 March 2020 - 11:14:32

Was it not recently 'World Freedom Day'? No slavery. These foreign protesters had been working for a Thai employer and not received salaries! Thai employer did not pay for 1 month work. Quite normal they go to Phuket Labour Office to complain and seek their rights.. The reaction of the police as if they are criminals while just coming up for their rights is flabber gasting. Instead of sayi...

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