Govt urged to speed up aid for workers

Govt urged to speed up aid for workers

Evacuees demand B50k compensation

Narasak Dankratok, 38, a Thai worker in Nakhon Ratchasima, tells reporters that he had not received the compensation from the government after he was evacuated from Israel. (Photo: Prasit Tangprasert)
Narasak Dankratok, 38, a Thai worker in Nakhon Ratchasima, tells reporters that he had not received the compensation from the government after he was evacuated from Israel. (Photo: Prasit Tangprasert)

Some Thai evacuees from Israel are urging the government to speed up its 50,000-baht compensation, the financial aid scheme that it promised almost a month ago.

The government previously approved 50,000 baht in compensation from the central budget earmarked for emergency purposes as well as low-interest loans of up to 150,000 baht to each Thai worker from Israel as incentives to evacuate them from the war between Israel and Hamas. The Labour Ministry also plans to pay 15,000 baht from a fund for Thai workers abroad to each returnee.

However, almost a month later, some evacuees have received only the 15,000-baht payment and not the rest. One of them is Kangwan Romsai, 39, a native of Khon Kaen province.

A former construction worker, Mr Kangwan, applied to work in Israel through the Thailand-Israel Cooperation project, a labour cooperation project between the two governments.

He sold six of his cattle and earned about 100,000 baht for his expenses to work under a five-year-and-three-month contract as a farmer in a banana plantation on a kibbutz, with high hopes to save money for his family, especially for the tuition fees of his two children.

His income was much higher than his daily wage in Thailand, considering he was paid about 300 baht in Thailand, he said. But in Israel, his earning was about 300 baht per work hour, he said.

However, Mr Kangwan decided to return to his hometown because he felt unsafe after the Hamas onslaught on Israel kicked off on Oct 7. He decided to return home after working there for a year and seven months. He said the banana plantation, which was 1km away from the Gaza Strip, was turned into a battlefield.

He returned to his hometown on Oct 19. Mr Kangwan said that apart from the 15,000-baht compensation, he hasn't received any additional compensation, including the 50,000 baht in cash that the government had promised.

To make matters worse, he is now unemployed, and he has no additional income. Mr Kangwan wanted to work abroad again, yet no positions have opened, he was told by an official at the Labour Ministry. When asked about returning to Israel, he said that he wanted to return to the country because he would earn a better income there.

He then asked the government to keep its promise and release the financial aid.

Narasak Dankratok, 38, from Chaloem Phrakiat district in Nakhon Ratchasima, also told reporters that he had not received the compensation from the government.

Just like Mr Kangwan, the native of tambon Nong Yang, worked at a vineyard in Israel for about three years and 10 months before returning home on Oct 25 after his workplace was bombed.

He wanted the government to keep its promise of the 50,000-baht compensation. "This amount of money is important for some of us, as it might be funding for them to start their new lives," he said.

Do you like the content of this article?
COMMENT (3)