The Cambodian Workers’ Friendship Association of Thailand (CFAT) in Phan Thong district of Thailand’s Chonburi province helped to solve difficulties faced by nearly 70 Cambodian workers, of whom nearly 40 had been cheated by brokers.
According to the Centre for Alliance of Labour and Human Rights (CNTRAL), representatives from CENTRAL in Thailand on May 30 aided the workers in the district’s Ban Kao industrial region in collaboration with CFAT members.
Leung Sophon, a CENTRAL official based in Thailand, said they had taken action after more than 20 Cambodians had asked them for help.
“Of the 67 workers, 38 were Cambodians who had been cheated out of up to 7,000 baht [$200] each as their brokers promised to find them work at a bread production factory – and renew their visas and work permits – in the industrial region of Chonburi province’s Phan Thong district,” he said.
He added that the migrant workers had waited for nearly three months, but the brokers did not appear to have even attempted to find them employment.
CENTRAL and CFAT representatives will collaborate with the Thai Immigration Protection Fund to help the workers. They are also cooperating with a supervisor at the factory to help solve some of the problems of the concerned workers.
According to CENTRAL, after a meeting the unnamed supervisor promised to accept the workers’ demands and return the money that had been paid to the brokers.
CENTRAL said the supervisor had promised to pay the money back in a week and call in the brokers to solve the problems at the factory.
Banteay Meanchey provincial deputy governor Ros Sophany said in early May during the inauguration of the Migrant Workers Resource Centre in Sisophon town that people should not be so quick to trust brokers who offer to find them work abroad, because it is illegal and therefore there is limited protection.
According to the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training, more than 1.3 million Cambodian people are currently working abroad, mostly in Thailand, Malaysia, Japan and South Korea. They send home nearly $3 billion a year.