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Foreigners face ouster after work r

Subject: Foreigners face ouster after work rules enforced


Foreigners face ouster after work rules enforced

THE Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare (MOLSW) will strictly enforce its
foreign-worker regulation on Aug 4, when the period of ''relenting'' is over,
said Minister of Labour and Social Welfare Sompong Amornwiwat. 

Sompong said yesterday that on Aug 4 the MOLSW will take action in accordance
with the resolution of the Committee on Foreign Labour Problems Solution.
According to the resolution, employers must replace foreign workers with Thai
workers as much as possible. 
Foreigners illegally working in Thailand mainly come from Burma, Cambodia,
Laos, Sri Lanka and Pakistan. They will face deportation after the deadline. 

The MOLSW has continually reminded employers of foreign workers that they
should accelerate the replacement of foreign workers with Thai workers. 

However, the minister has received petitions from some employers that no Thai
workers applied for the jobs that are occupied by foreign workers in various
enterprises -- for example, in orchard farming, cloth-weaving, dress-making,
fisheries, para-rubber plantation and at rice mills. 

If any employer wants the MOLSW to keep from enforcing the regulation, the
committee in charge may have to consider relaxing enforcement of the rules for
particular groups of careers and skilled workers. 

The number of illegal foreign workers may have reached some hundred of
thousands by now, but only some 70,000 were officially registered in 1997 when
the government introduced a grace period for them. They had to be registered
before being allowed to work in 34 border provinces. 

Since then, the move has been criticised by social workers and
organisations as being launched improperly and without a monitoring mechanism.
It was also blasted for aiming to please businessmen who sought cheap labour,
without taking into account social costs. 

The Nation