Future bright for workers, PM says

Future bright for workers, PM says

Skills training in place for digital age

The Thai Labour Solidarity Committee and State Enterprises Workers' Relations Confederation mark International Labour Day on Wednesday at a warehouse of the Port Authority of Thailand. Wichan Charoenkiatpakul
The Thai Labour Solidarity Committee and State Enterprises Workers' Relations Confederation mark International Labour Day on Wednesday at a warehouse of the Port Authority of Thailand. Wichan Charoenkiatpakul

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha remains bullish on the future of Thai workers, stressing how the unemployment rate is below 1%.

"Thailand is now ranked fourth among countries with the lowest unemployment rates," the prime minister told officials, labour leaders and workers on Wednesday at an event marking International Labour Day at the Thai-Japan Bangkok Youth Centre in Bangkok's Din Daeng district.

Currently, fewer than 900,000 labourers in the kingdom are without a job, or less than 1% of the workforce of 38 million.

"Everything is making good progress and labour policies are on track to see further improvements," Gen Prayut said.

He said the labour policies prescribed by the military government would be carried over to the next government, which has yet to be decided in the wake of the March 24 poll. The official results are due out on May 9.

The charter requires subsequent governments to continue the national policies prescribed by the incumbent administration.

One example of said projects would be the Ministry of Labour's upskill campaigns. The Ministry of Education is also promoting vocational learning, enabling workers to acquire related degrees.

The prime minister said workers should not stop learning in today's economy if they are to thrive.

"They have to acquire new sets of knowledge and develop more skills to keep pace with changes in the digital age," he said.

On Wednesday, labour rights advocates asked the government to consider their 10-point proposal to further improve their quality of life.

Among them is a call to adjust a pension scheme to allow retired workers to receive about 5,000 baht a month.

"That would be enough to live off," said Thawi Techathirawat, chairman of the Thai Trade Union Congress.

The government can now satisfy only some of their demands, but it has pledged to take the others under consideration, Labour Minister Adul Sangsingkeo said.

The authorities have already increased compensation for workers hit by industrial and other work-related accidents.

Those who are injure or lose organs -- as well as the families of the bereaved -- will be given more aid under the Social Security Fund, Ananchai Uthaiphatthanachip, secretary-general of the Social Security Office, told the local media. He said this should be enough to support them and their children.

Pol Gen Adul met experts, including ex-ambassador to Israel Domdet Bunnag, on Wednesday to discuss Thai workers who have been unfairly treated in Israel, or who have died under mysterious circumstances.

Some 24,000 Thais work as farmhands in Israel but 172 died "suddenly" between 2012 and 2017, Mr Domdet said.


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