Em­bassy seeks Thai help to re­coup Myan­mar mi­grant work­ers’ back pay

The Myanmar Times - - News - ZAW ZAW HTWE za­wza­whtwe@mm­times.com

THE Myan­mar em­bassy in Bangkok has asked for the Thai gov­ern­ment’s as­sis­tance in re­coup­ing un­paid wages for more than 60 un­doc­u­mented Myan­mar mi­grant work­ers pre­vi­ously em­ployed at a ver­mi­celli noo­dle fac­tory in Ban Pon town, Thai­land, ac­cord­ing to em­bassy of­fi­cials.

“We have asked at the DSI [Depart­ment of Spe­cial In­ves­ti­ga­tion] and with Thai­land’s of­fi­cials to send back the over 60 work­ers they de­tained and to work to get the un­paid wages for them as quickly as pos­si­ble,” the Myan­mar em­bassy’s labour of­fi­cer U Aung Moe Khaing told The Myan­mar Times yes­ter­day.

He added that Thai of­fi­cials from the DSI and the Ministry of Labour said they had or­dered the fac­tory’s owner to fork over the un­paid wages to the un­doc­u­mented work­ers, as well as to 162 Myan­mar na­tion­als em­ployed there legally on a mem­o­ran­dum of un­der­stand­ing be­tween the two gov­ern­ments.

“I want to go back home, so I will ac­cept the im­pris­on­ment,” one of the un­doc­u­mented mi­grants, Ma Aye Maw, said last week af­ter she ran out of the fac­tory into the cus­tody of a joint Thai-Myan­mar in­spec­tion group that had ar­rived to ne­go­ti­ate a set­tle­ment with the MoU work­ers. “I had to work four months with­out pay. I want to get my un­paid wages back.”

Thai­land-based Aid Alliance Com­mit­tee (AAC) mem­ber Ko Ye Min told The Myan­mar Times yes­ter­day that though more than 60 un­doc­u­mented work­ers fled the fac­tory, more stayed be­hind.

“About 70 Myan­mar un­doc­u­mented work­ers are left there and have been work­ing in or­der to get back their un­paid wages,” he said.

Those that fled the fac­tory are be­ing de­tained by po­lice un­der an agree­ment reached among Thai and Myan­mar of­fi­cials and mi­grant rights groups. They will be im­pris­oned for 48 days in ac­cor­dance with Thai im­mi­gra­tion law, said the em­bassy of­fi­cial.

“Now, we are work­ing to get back un­paid wages quickly by co­op­er­at­ing with Thai­land’s labour of­fi­cials. As soon as we get back the un­paid wages, all work­ers will be sent back to Myan­mar’s bor­der by the im­mi­gra­tion po­lice force,” said Ko Ye Min, also from the AAC.

The fac­tory has em­ployed Myan­mar mi­grant work­ers over the past decade, but the 162 MoU work­ers were sent by the Moon Beam over­seas em­ploy­ment agency in May of this year.

The le­gal mi­grant work­ers staged a strike on Au­gust 17, af­ter the fac­tory owner four days ear­lier had failed to pay wages on sched­ule.

The AAC and other civil so­ci­ety or­gan­i­sa­tions later stepped in to do­nate food and wa­ter sup­plies to the work­ers, who were un­able to sup­port them­selves af­ter their pay was de­layed.

More than 140 of the work­ers have since re­ceived their back pay and have been em­ployed at other fac­to­ries in Thai­land un­der the terms of their MoU, the Moon Beam em­ploy­ment agency’s man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Daw Ei Ei Tha and em­bassy of­fi­cial U Aung Moe Khaing told The Myan­mar Times.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Myanmar

© PressReader. All rights reserved.