Narinjara News

BKK,  April 6

By: Aung Kyaw Tun


Arakanese Migrant Workers are facing an uncertain future after being sacked from their jobs in Thailand


Many Arakanese Migrant workers employed by Thai fishing companies are now finding their survival under threat as they have been sacked from their jobs following the petrol crisis in Thailand.


An Arakanese fisherman, employed at a company in Chumphon, said “Yes, it is true that the fishery workers are being dismissed from their jobs because many Thai fishing trawlers have been forced to stop their work at present.  This is due to the increase in petrol prices which mean that they can’t afford the fuel.”


The fishery companies have therefore sacked a number of fishery workers, especially those who were working on fishing trawlers as they have been hit particularly hard by the crisis in the fishery sector.


“In the southern parts of Thailand there are so many Arakanese fishery workers, but now they are jobless and their future is uncertain”, the fisherman added.


Another Arakanese fishing worker said that some companies have not sacked all workers, but at least 4 in 10 have been dismissed from their posts recently.


According to Thai social workers, at least 20,000 Arakanese people are working illegally in Thailand because they went there to seek employment.


Due to high levels of unemployment in Arakan, many Arakanese young people have made the decision to join the Burmese army.  However, a number of Arakanese people have acted against this, and instead gone to neighbouring countries to search for jobs.


"We are leaving our native land and going to Thailand to find work.  In the Arakan state there are no government plans to reduce the unemployment rate. For this reason, so many Arakanese young people, including women, are crossing Burma to reach Thailand and find employment” An Arakanese youth explained.


About 100 Arakanese migrant workers are jobless in Chumphon alone, he said. Chumphon is one of the main fishing Areas in the Southern part of Thailand.  Here there are usually many fishing jobs available, and so many people from Burma go there to find jobs on fishing sites. Overall, there are at least 5000 Burmese migrant workers working on Thai fishing Trawlers.


According to channel 7 News, 8000 Migrant workers who are working on the trawlers have been made unemployed as their trawlers have ceased fishing. Some trawler owners have stated that they would be burning their own trawlers unless the Thai Government agreed to reduce the price of petrol in the near future.


The national Fishing Union of Thailand has been demanding a reduction in the price of petrol as the fishermen are not able to meet the high costs. Representatives from the union will meet the Deputy Agriculture Minister on Tuesday.


Most of the fishermen in the eastern and western seas of Thailand have now stopped fishing as they have not reached an agreement with the Government regarding the reduction of petrol prices in Thailand. #


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