Thailand against the illegal employment of foreigners in the kingdom
Entertainment workers on the Thai island of Phuket are demanding action against illegal foreign workers
Following the return of tourism to Phuket, the perennial problem of complaints by local workers against foreigners who allegedly illegally occupy jobs and leave no wages for Thai citizens is back on the agenda. A new complaint to the Ombudsman’s Office (Damrongtham Center) was filed this week, as reported by the province’s PR office.
The disgruntled entertainment workers were represented by one Phromphiria Thammaupattham, who met with Damrongtham Center head Kritsadi Chaiphakdi and Department of Employment representative Pichit Singthongkham and handed them an official letter outlining his colleagues’ demands.
According to Phuket’s PR office, Mr. Thammaupattham’s position is consistent with what was heard five and ten years ago: foreigners working illegally where Thais could legally work. The only thing new is the thesis that illegal foreign workers now make up the “majority” of staff in pubs, bars, and other entertainment venues. The rest of the theses are not new.
“Many foreign workers are in Thailand on tourist visas or do not have the documents necessary to work here legally. Bar and restaurant employees such as waiters, hostesses, bartenders, managers, reception staff, or those directly providing entertainment such as dancers, bands, DJs, singers, and musicians – almost 100% of positions in the hospitality industry in Phuket are occupied by illegal foreign workers,” Mr. Thammaupattham laid out his view of the situation.
“Many foreigners enter the country on tourist visas and stay for 5 to 10 years, even though their visas have expired. We’re not talking about any one nationality, but people from different countries, many of whom work at the entrances to bars and restaurants, luring visitors off the street,” he added.
Mr. Thammaupattham appealed to the island’s authorities to begin random inspections in Phuket’s entertainment establishments to determine the legal status of employees, and to conduct inspections without warning so that businesses could not prepare in advance and hide said illegal employees (who, as he himself noted, occupy “almost 100% of positions”).
Damrongtham Center head Kritsadi Chaiphakdi and Department of Employment representative Pichit Singthongkham promised that inspections would be conducted in coordination with the relevant agencies, the Phuket News reported.
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