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Exodus of 1,500 migrant workers daily sparks worry of Thai labour shortage

Jun 09. 2020
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The Thai government wants Myanmar migrant workers to stay in Thailand rather than return to their homeland during the Covid-19 crisis.

Suchart Phonchaiwisetkun, Employment Department director general, met with Myanmar Ambassador Myo Myint Than on Tuesday (June 9) to discuss how Thailand would manage the immigrant workers during the pandemic. 

Suchart explained that the workers had demanded to continue working in Thailand. Having them return to Myanmar would risk spreading Covid-19 and also cost money to transport them, he said. 

If they stayed in Thailand, it would alleviate Thai businesses’ worries of a labour shortage, he added. 

“Myanmar officials agreed to the preliminary principles, and want relevant agencies in Thailand and Myanmar to meet in a video conference later,” said Suchart, adding that around 1,500 migrant workers per day were reportedly returning to their homeland, as Thai businesses shut down amid the virus crisis.

The Thai government was ready to support and facilitate Myanmar labourers who want to be hired, he said.

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