Special flight for 94 stranded workers

Special flight for 94 stranded workers

Ninety-four Thai workers stranded in Uzbekistan are expected to return home with the help of the Thai Labour Ministry and relevant government agencies, on a repatriation flight that will arrive in Thailand on Thursday.

Suthi Sukosol, Permanent Secretary for Labour, on Monday said recruitment agencies have sent workers to the Central Asian country to help facilitate the return of 94 Thai nationals stranded there due to Covid-19. Seven additional Thai workers are expected to stay there to continue working.

Flight HY3609 is scheduled to take off from an airport in Uzbekistan to take the migrant workers home, and arrive in Bangkok at 1.15am. Two buses will take the workers from a Bangkok airport to their hometowns. A 14-day quarantine period for the returnees is required.

Most of the 94 workers subscribe to the Overseas Employment Administration Division's social security fund programme. Each of the workers can claim compensation from it.

Thai workers in Uzbekistan last month threatened to carry out extreme measures to pressure the Thai government to quickly bring them home after a long period of waiting.

The Royal Thai Embassy in Moscow reported a group of Thai workers in the Central Asian nation planned to set fire to their work camp and live stream the event in a bid to pressure the Thai government to expedite their repatriation.

The workers decided not to set their camp on fire after the government issued a stern warning, saying they would face harsh legal action.

Theanrat Nawamawat, deputy permanent secretary for labour, in her capacity as Labour Ministry spokesperson, said the Office of Labour Affairs in Saudi Arabia on Sunday transferred some of the money in the fund to a labour affairs volunteer in Beirut, Lebanon. The money is to be used to compensate 13 subscribers whose employment status was called off due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Regarding workers in Beirut, the Royal Thai Embassy in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, is preparing survival kits for Thais in Lebanon following the city's Aug 4 port explosion that has killed approximately 200 people. Two Thai nationals were injured in the incident that has caught global attention.

The Office of Labour Affairs in Saudi Arabia said Thai workers in Beirut had helped repair damaged accommodation where fellow workers were staying with any materials they could find. Some of the Thai workers reportedly lent a hand to their Lebanese employers affected by the explosion.

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