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Thailand Needs 800,000 Migrant Workers To Address Labor Shortages

The Federation of Thai Industries estimates that the country requires 800,000 migrant workers to help with labor shortages in the industrial, tourism, and service industries.

Thailand’s Ministry of Labor is in talks with neighboring nations to let migrant workers who finish their four-year tenure this year to stay in the country for additional six months.

According to local media, the purpose is to enable enterprises that rely on migrants run smoothly during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Boonchob Suttamanaswong, the Labour Minister’s Permanent Secretary.

He stated following a recent discussion of the policy committee on migrant worker management that the goal is to minimize labor shortages and maintain a safe working environment from COVID-19 by ensuring that the same employees stay with a firm longer.

Migrant workers are generally permitted to work in Thailand for two years, but the time can be extended another two years for a total of four years, according to Pairoj Chotikasathien, Director-General of the Employment Department. They must return to their home countries after finishing their terms and reapply to work in Thailand.

The Thai government signed a labor memorandum of understanding with Cambodia, Laos, and Myanmar in December, with the goal of striking a healthy balance between restricting COVID-19’s expansion, protecting workers’ rights, and meeting the rising need for migrant workers.

The Federation of Thai Industries estimates that the country requires 800,000 migrant workers to help with labor shortages in the industrial, tourism, and service industries.

90,000 migrant workers requested under new MOU

Since Thailand started registrations for job requests for workers who would enter the country under the memorandum of understanding (MoU) inked with Myanmar, Cambodia, and Laos in December 2021, the Labour Ministry stated roughly 90,000 migrant workers had been sought by business operators.

Thailand Needs 800,000 Migrant Workers To Address Labor Shortages
Labour Minister Suchart Chomklin

Employers have filed 1,349 applications for 90,071 foreign employees, according to Labour Minister Suchart Chomklin. Employees from Myanmar are needed 72.2 percent of the time, Cambodian workers are needed 20.9 percent of the time, and Laos workers are needed 6.8% of the time.

The first set of 158 Cambodian employees is being quarantined in Aranyaprathet district, Sa Kaeo province, according to the Labour Ministry. They are completely vaccinated and receive Covid-19 therapy covered by their health insurance. After their quarantine time is over, the personnel will be returned to their jobs.

On February 1, 220 workers were allowed to enter the country, according to Pairoj Chotikasathien, Director-General of the Employment Department. However, 35 persons were unable to go to Thailand, and another 27 were denied visas after being discovered to be on the blacklist for unlawfully leaving the country while permitted to work in Thailand. He advised all migrant workers wishing to work in Thailand to follow Thai labor laws that applicable to their situation.

1,000 Cambodian migrant workers hired under new MOU

Under a new memorandum of agreement, Cambodia will send over 1,000 migrant laborers to Thailand this month to work in construction and meat processing plants (MoU).

Thailand has announced that about 400 MoU workers will be sent on February 21 and another 400 on February 28 to work for Thailand’s largest food company, CP, but some will be sent to smaller companies that only need 10 or 20 workers, according to Cambodian Labour Agency Association president Orn Bun Hak.

“We have requested to the Thai side for 3,000 to 3,500 workers who have applied to work legally in Thailand in the food industry, such as processing chicken and pork as well as in construction. So far, only one or two companies have responded,” Bun Hak said.

Some Cambodian migrant workers.
Some Cambodian migrant workers.

He went on to say that around 1,000 people are ready to work in Thailand, while others are awaiting documentation and visas from the Thai side in order to set a date for their arrival.

Bun Hak stated that 220 personnel were transferred to Panus Poultry Group Co Ltd in Chonburi province on Tuesday. Each will be paid between $500 and $700 per month.

He claims that Thai employees would be given preference over other migrant workers in terms of housing and food since they are completely vaccinated and have a minimal chance of contracting Covid-19.

Cambodian employees who wish to work in Thailand must fulfill specific requirements, including being completely vaccinated against Covid-19 and having a Covid-19 negative test completed 72 hours before to arrival by a specialist who can confirm the Covid-19 negative findings.

Workers are tested when they arrive at the border, and if the results are negative, they must test again for seven days before being permitted to enter the workplace. If they test positive, they are sent to a treatment center, and the Thai employer is responsible for all medical costs.

He claimed the Cambodian employees were being brought in at the request of companies in the provinces of Chonburi and Ayutthaya.

According to Pairoj Chotikasathien, director-general of the Employment Department, the quarantine center in Sa Kaeo’s Aranyaprathet district has 200 rooms and can accommodate up to 500 people. The service costs around $256 per person and includes three meals per day as well as transportation from the checkpoint to the centre.

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