Workers contest Thai court’s ruling
IN a case that threatens to turn the spotlight on alleged abuses in Thailand’s poultry farming industry, 14 Myanmar migrant workers are to press ahead with demands for substantial compensation from a factory in Lopburi province.
U Sein Htay, chair of the Thailandbased Migrant Workers Rights Network (MWRN), said his organisation would assist them in preparing an appeal against compensation they considered too low. The appeal will be filed by September 4.
He said the workers received a fixed 6900 baht (US$200) per month, rather than the Thai governmentstipulated minimum wage of 300 baht per day. They had to work for 65 days straight before getting just three days off, with workdays stretching from 7am to 5pm.
“All the workers were legally employed, but the management forced them to work under these conditions and refused to pay the compensation stipulated by law,” he said, describing the terms of the appeal.
Thammakaset Farm has been the object of allegations that it abuses its largely Myanmar migrant workforce, and was served with a lawsuit on June 28.
The workers allege the factory owner forced them to log overtime without extra pay and to work without proper breaks. They demanded compensation for being forced to work punishing hours for less than the minimum wage.
According to the MWRN, the court ordered the farm owners to pay 1.7 million baht compensation for the 14 Myanmar migrant workers, well below the 4 million baht compensation for abuse that the workers had demanded.
Ko Naing Win, 28, has worked at the farm for more than three years. He told The Myanmar Times that the workers deserved the compensation because of the abuse they had suffered.
“The court judgement is not fair. They’re awarding us only 100,000 baht. We’ve decided to appeal,” he said, adding that each worker should
‘The management ... refused to pay the compensation stipulated by law.’
U Sein Htay
Migrant Workers Rights Network have received 400,000 baht.
MWRN said it had been trying to direct international attention to the Thai poultry industry, which they said had long avoided the kind of criticism the seafood industry has faced despite also being rife with abuse.
“I hope the case will be resolved soon, and the court will take a look at the chicken market,” said MWRN vice chair U Aung Kyaw.