From the Thai-language press: Thairath editorial: The gang to exploit poor people - October 13, 2005
Although it is quite late, it is not too late for
the Investigation Commission of which Gen. Thanu Sriyakul,
is Chairperson, to specify that employment agencies
and many government officials of the Labour Ministry
who took a high brokerage fee from 1,700 Thai workers.
The amount taken was more than the law allows (which
is 90,000-150,000 baht). The total extorted from the
Thai workers is 60 million baht.
This made us believe that there was cooperation between
the owner of the employment agency and the middle
level government officials of the Department of Employment
who are in the North and Northeast of Thailand. The
ingenious way is avoid detection is to send a large
number of workers, but less than 50 workers in order
not to be require approval from the high chief.
The riot of Thai workers in Kaoshuing, in the south
of Taiwan, to protest the employers oppression
in August, urges the Taiwan government and Thai government
to investigate urgently. Taiwan moved faster than
Thailand in making their Labour Minister and Lord
Mayor of Kaoshuing resign to take responsibility.
The investigation specifies that there was a gang
formed to oppress and exploit Thai workers.
At first it was understood that only Taiwan was at
fault for this, but the investigation of the Thai
Labour Ministry found that the Thai employment agent
company was also responsible.
60 million baht was fleeced from the workers
sweat by people of the same nationality as the workers
themselves. This was a large amount of money to take
from poor people. Some must sell their land or take
a mortgage or go to the pawnshop to get the brokerage
fee. This 60 million baht is likely money from the
1,700 workers. This excludes thousands of other Thai
workers in Taiwan. Thailand sends more workers to
Taiwan than any other country.
Many countries solve this problem by having the government
handling sending workers overseas or giving loans
with low interest to workers. Thailand as well seems
like it may try to solve this problem with this method,
but as it is controlled by the Labour Ministry already,
many workers are oppressed and exploited by people
of their same nationality. So it is hopeless now on
how to solve this problem. At first, we must penalize
those involved and clear up the system.
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