Thailand would soon start legalising thousands of illegal Myanmar workers in its fishing industry as a first step to the signing of an agreement to provide more workers for the business, which is struggling with a labour shortage.
This arrangement was reached when Thai Labour Minister Adul Sangsingkeo visited Myanmar on August 16, said U Thein Swe, minister for Labour, Immigration and Population.
This month, a migrant worker office will be opened in Kawthaung township, Tanintharyi Region, to process the documents of illegal fishery workers in Thailand.
After the illegal workers have been given the proper documents, the office will start processing workers whose temporary passports and identity certificates will expire, as well as workers whose entry visas will expire, so they would be able to continue working in their present jobs.
U Thein Swe said on Tuesday, however, that the sending of 40,000 more workers to Thailand’s fishing industry would start only after parliament approves the plan.
“Legalisation of illegal workers will start at the end of this month. After the government approves the transfer of more workers, negotiations will be held with Thailand, probably next month,” he said.
The Myanmar Overseas Employment Agencies Federation has submitted suggestions on ensuring the safety of Myanmar fishery workers in accordance with international standards and Thai regulations.
U Thein Swe said that sending fishery workers to Thailand under a memorandum of understanding would ensure more protection for Myanmar workers.
More than 100,000 Myanmar nationals work in the Thai fishing industry, including over 40,000 on Thai fishing boats. About 45,400 work in fishing-related industries and 58,700 in marine product factories.
The views and opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the ASEAN Trade Union Council.