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.
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.