Jump to content

Big brands, small firms offer pandemic aid to Thailand's migrant workers


snoop1130

Recommended Posts

Big brands, small firms offer pandemic aid to Thailand's migrant workers

By Nanchanok Wongsamuth

 

2021-01-14T104414Z_1_LYNXMPEH0D0N7_RTROPTP_4_HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS-THAILAND.JPG

A medical worker performs a nose swab on a migrant worker at a seafood market, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Samut Sakhon province, in Thailand, December 19, 2020. REUTERS/Panumas Sa - RC2FQK9CUSO3

 

BANGKOK (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Global brands and small firms are providing aid to migrant workers in Thailand after a jump in coronavirus cases, a move backed by activist groups on Thursday who urged businesses to help pay for testing and access healthcare.

 

In Samut Sakhon, a province south of Bangkok where an outbreak began at a shrimp market late last year, seafood companies are providing assistance to migrant workers - mostly from Myanmar - who are a major source of labour for the industry in the area.

 

Companies that have donated food and drinks in Samut Sakhon included Charoen Pokphand Foods (CPF), Thailand's largest agriculture business, Thai Union Group, the world's biggest producer of tuna, and drinks giant Osotspa.

 

Kimberly Rogovin, a coordinator for Global Labor Justice – International Labor Rights Forum, a workers' rights organisation, welcomed the aid but said more needed to be done to address the current crisis and prevent future disasters.

 

"While it is positive to see big brands giving aid and food to migrant workers, the private sector must also ensure workers are paid decent wages, have access to healthcare, and do not bear the burden of paying for COVID-19 tests or new registration requirements," she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

 

Thailand is dealing with its worst coronavirus outbreak, with more than 200 new infections each day, raising the total so far to more than 11,000 cases, including 69 deaths.

 

The current crisis has left many migrant workers unable to find jobs and struggling to survive in Samut Sakhon, which has an estimated 400,000 migrant workers according to activists, and has been under lockdown since last month.

 

Migrant worker charities say they have received complaints from workers who had been asked by employers to obtain medical certificates showing negative COVID-19 test results - which can be expensive - in order to return to their jobs.

 

"We are well aware of the hardships that Thai and migrant people are facing ... and have offered a helping hand to Myanmar people (by providing them with food)," CPF chief executive Prasit Boondoungprasert said in a statement.

 

Thailand's second-largest mobile operator True Corporation has donated mobile phone SIM cards to provide internet access, while rival operator Total Access Communication has bolstered its network near migrant worker housing in Samut Sakhon.

 

The Raks Thai Foundation, a legal aid charity that has an office in Samut Sakhon, said it had received donations from three local companies since December.

 

Global brands such as food and drink giant PepsiCo, chocolate maker Mars and consumer goods company Colgate-Palmolive also provided support last year, it added.

 

"At the end of the day, migrant workers help support the Thai economy and they should be given equal rights," said Phumjai Krisintu, director of resources development at the foundation.

 

reuters_logo.jpg

-- © Copyright Reuters 2021-01-14
 
Link to post
Share on other sites

12 minutes ago, hotchilli said:

Why not offer them decent employment, instead of the internment camps and slave labour they normally have to endure to keep the Thai fish markets afloat?


 

Thailand provides millions of jobs to its Third World neighbors, Laos, Cambodia and Burma dragging the workers and their families back home out of poverty, as well as providing important medical care and foreign aid. 
Many come and work for a few years and save enough money to return home and buy a house and set themselves up for life. Opportunities that simply don’t exist in their home countries.
Thailand is the Land of Opportunity of SEA. 
 

What is your country offering them? 
 

Nice to see the Thai companies, who are suffering a severe downturn in their own businesses, teaming up to further help out these people at a time of need, even though covid has entered the Kingdom once more through Burma. 
 

My brother has contracted covid recently in LA USA. He is in hotel quarantine currently and nobody is doing anything for him. Nothing. 
 

Link to post
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, hotchilli said:

Why not offer them decent employment, instead of the internment camps and slave labour they normally have to endure to keep the Thai fish markets afloat?

The migrant workers have more benefits in Thailand, than if staying home, otherwise they wouldn't be here; i.e. migrant workers can improve their life-style back home by working a period abroad, even if some Westerners may think different.

 

The migrant workers in the construction crew building my house – and yes, they lived in primitive camps and were paid 10% over minimum salary for men, and 10% under for women that only get paid the days they actually worked, but they were all treated well by the owner of the building construction company – and all were happy for the opportunity to get abroad and make money, relative to their living standard in their home country it was "big money".

 

One family earned enough to be able to build a house when returning home after some 4-5 years in Thailand, they wouldn't have been able to do that if they had stayed home. We had their daughter employed as live-in maid for a number of years, so we followed the family, also after they returned home...🙂

 

PS Edit: I shall add, that I don't know anything about the fishing industry, but from what I read in the news, not all sounds good.

Link to post
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, hotchilli said:

Why not offer them decent employment, instead of the internment camps and slave labour they normally have to endure to keep the Thai fish markets afloat?

They are not slaves; no one is forcing them to work, they want to work. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...