The Ministry of Labour's Inspector-General and spokesperson Mr. Suthi Sukosol, revealed that the Ministry of Labour has formulated an action plan for resolution on labour issues in the fishing industry which includes improvements to legislation, prevention, legal enforcement, protection of workers and labour migration. The plan is under direction of Labour Minister General Sirichai Distakul and is aimed to elevate foreign worker management to international standards. The ratification of ILO Convention 188 concerning work in the fishing sector and Convention 29 concerning forced or compulsory labour, has already been analyzed with a positive conclusion and will be presented to the Cabinet for further consideration. There will then be consideration for the ratification of ILO Convention 98 concerning the right to organise and collective bargaining in the next phase, which is an illustration of Thailand's determination to improve the care of labour to international standards.

Mr. Suthi further explained that the Ministry of Labour has issued the Alien Working with Thai Employers Act B.E. 2559, aimed to manage businesses importing labour for work, permitting workers to request reimbursements for migration expenses from employers; the act was enforced on 16 August 2016. In addition to this, the quantity of labour inspection staff and language specialists (Burmese, Laotian and Cambodian) has increased, whereby report channels have also diversified including the 1694 and 1546 hotline and a dedicated webpage at www. There has also been the establishment of foreign worker help centers to provide consultations and coordinate with relevant units, the establishment of a foreign worker entry and exit center to screen foreign workers, provide training and information as well as a waiting station for foreigners before returning home. Workers in the fishing and seafood processing industry have also been offered the opportunity to change employers without limitations as to employer or province, as long as they remain in the same industry. At the same time, foreign workers in other industry are also able to be employed by a new employer in the fishing and seafood processing industry too.

Source: Ministry of Labour

By tladmin