Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Threats against strikers, labour shortages and nationality verification

The Phnom Penh Post reports on threats made by Thai police against Myanmar and Cambdian migrant workers who were on strike at a seafood factory in Songkla:
Police threatened workers and fired shots into the air as a dispute involving about 800 Cambodian workers at Phatthana Seafood Co Ltd in Thailand’s Songkhla province escalated yesterday, a workers’ representative said.

Sok Sorng said “many police” had threatened workers with guns as more than 1,000 workers, including some from Myanmar and Thailand, rallied against management locking them out of the factory, which is believed to be a supplier of retail giant Walmart, a day after they went on strike over wages.

"There were so many police deployed in front of the factory," he said.

Police had threatened to shoot workers if they entered the factory, and fired their guns into the air to disperse the crowd, Sok Sorng said.

"They wanted us to be scared," he said.
The Bangkok Post provides another report about a looming labour shortage in Thailand linked reforms in Myanmar and a related growth in employment opportunities there.
Some Thai businesses feel besieged just as the minimum wage was hiked because a possible labour shortage looms with Myanmar opening its economy.

The construction, fishery and food industries will be the hardest hit as they rely heavily on migrant workers from Myanmar.


"I'd say all factories are facing a labour shortage. No matter how high wages rise, we have to pay them because of the shortage we are facing," he said.


As Myanmar undertakes political and economic reforms, especially after this month's by-election, analysts have begun to point out that positive developments there will tighten the labour market in Thailand over the next few years.
And MCOT reports on the opening of five new nationality verification offices for Myanmar migrant workers in Thailand, to assist with the current round of migrant passport applications.
Myanmar migrant workers nationality verification centres are expected to be ready and opened for services late in April as the nationality verification process will be completed by June...

... the parties discussed the latest developments regarding the establishment of five nationality verification centres for Myanmar migrant workers—one each in Bangkok, Samut Sakhon, Samut Prakan, Surat Thani and Chiang Mai.

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