Fishermen threaten strike

Fishermen threaten strike

Commercial fishing operators in Phangnga urge the government to bypass the lengthy hiring process for migrant workers or face a strike. (Jakkrit Waewkraihong)
Commercial fishing operators in Phangnga urge the government to bypass the lengthy hiring process for migrant workers or face a strike. (Jakkrit Waewkraihong)

The commercial fishing sector has renewed its call for the government to bypass the lengthy hiring process for migrant workers or face a strike.

Led by Boonchu Phaeyai, head of the provincial fishing association, said on Saturday fishing operators have demanded that they should be allowed to hire migrant workers under Section 83 of the fisheries law to alleviate the current labour crunch.

They are also seeking approval for this group of migrant workers to be allowed to work on boats for two years and claim they are in need of 50,000 workers to fill vacancies.

According to the fishing operators, the government should also revise certain stringent stipulations because they are hampering their business operations.

The group claims that many fishery operators are afraid of sailing out to sea for fear of violating the regulations which they believe are unnecessary.

The group also plans to submit their demands to the provincial authorities on Aug 1 and has said its members will strike if they receive no response from the government within seven days.

Meanwhile, the Department of Employment has asked the Comptroller-General's Department for recommendations about how to proceed with a planned procurement of iris scanners as part of the nationality verification process for migrant workers including those in the fishing sector.

Anurak Thosarat, the department's director-general, said certain issues must be cleared up involving specifications before it goes ahead with the 10 million baht purchase of 100 scanners.

According to Mr Anurak, concerns have been raised about their compatibility with other systems necessary for the verification process.

His remark followed reports that Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha was upset with the Labour Ministry's slow handling of the project.


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