Call for labour registration

Call for labour registration

FTI seeks improved record management

Migrant workers receive assistance on Tuesday at a Covid-19 testing centre in Baan Eua Arthorn Tha Chin in Samut Sakhon.  (Photo by Arnun Chonmahatrakool)
Migrant workers receive assistance on Tuesday at a Covid-19 testing centre in Baan Eua Arthorn Tha Chin in Samut Sakhon.  (Photo by Arnun Chonmahatrakool)

The Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) supports the state plan to register all migrant workers and better manage their data records in response to the surge of Covid-19 infections among foreign workers.

The move is part of efforts to cope with illegal entry of foreign workers into Thailand amid a growing worry over the spread of the coronavirus.

"It's a good idea for the government to regulate and register all migrant workers in Thailand," said FTI vice-chairman Kriangkrai Tiannukul. "This will help contain the pandemic and solve the problem of illegal migrant workers."

The government set up a fact-finding panel to probe state officials accused of facilitating the smuggling of illegal migrant workers, which has been blamed for the latest Covid-19 outbreak.

Speaking after a meeting of the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration on Thursday, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha stressed actions against wrongdoers and asked employers to help the government by refusing to hire illegal workers to save on costs.

Mr Kriangkrai said the government should consider using foreign labour management used in nations such as Taiwan as a model to solve the problem. Many migrant workers in Thailand live in congested, unhealthy conditions.

"Officials should conduct a survey of both legal and illegal migrant workers to better control their numbers."

Migrant workers are categorised in two groups -- the manufacturing and agricultural sectors, said Tanit Sorat, vice-chairman of Employers' Confederation of Thai Trade and Industry.

Most illegal migrant workers work in fisheries and retail, as well as rubber plantations. Their employers do not report to the government. Authorities should offer free registration for workers to encourage them to be listed under the state labour management system, said Mr Tanit.

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