Deal struck between Thailand and Myanmar over labour recruitment

Thai-Myanmar labour tensions have eased after the two countries hammered out a deal to smooth the way for labour recruitment, The Myanmar Times Online reported on Monday (July 10).

The deal followed a meeting last Friday when Thai Labour Minister Gen Sirichai Distakul flew into Nay Pyi Daw to meet his Myanmar counterpart U Thien Swe.  The two ministers spent about 90 minutes ironing out thorny issues regarding hiring of Myanmar workers.

“During the discussions, they (Thai delegation) said they want to realign the issues of discrepancies between the workers and employers and when changing jobs, and the matter of workers and employers not possessing sufficient documents.  And further issues will be discussed in stages,” U Thien Swe told the media after the meeting.

The two sides on a host of issues – legalise illegal workers, resolve disagreements between employers and workers, continue issuing certificates of identity (CI), passport renewable and issues of work permits and visas for migrant workers.

U Thien Swe said the Thai government agreed to a 15-day identity verification period for migrant workers, starting July 24-August 7.

For the verification process, workers and employers will have to go to a service centre and fill in an application form with two photos.

U Thien Swe said the ministry would open six offices for issuing CIs, a total of 180,000 workers have been given CIs and more will be issued.

Moreover, he added that CI card centre would be expanded to provide service in other essential areas and more staff will be sent over to take care of the issuing process.