MAP FOUNDATION, OCTOBER 18TH 2010
Workers from Dechapanich Fishing Net Factory Khon Kaen Find New Jobs and Remain Fully Documented
The 900 workers from the Dechapanich Fishing Net Factory in Khon Kaen had one final disappointment waiting for them from their old employer before they moved on to new pastures and new employers. When they went to check their ATM accounts for the last salary payment, they found that they each had received 500 baht less than expected. The employer had been told to pay in cash at the temple where officials from the Department of Employment were waiting to witness the payment but instead he chose to pay, or rather, underpay via bank transfer.
The workers wanted an explanation from the employer but got no reply. With new employers waiting at the temple to offer new employment opportunities and buses waiting to transport the rest of the workers to Mae Sot, there was little the migrants could do at that time.
Around 500 workers left with employers to work in different parts of Thailand and the remaining 376 workers boarded the nine buses they had ordered from the Khon Kaen Transport company to take them to Mae Sot.
They finally left Khon Kaen after this month long ordeal at the fishing net factory at 6pm on the evening of the 15th October with only a little cash in their pockets, but with all their documents valid and in working order, and with their heads held high.
At 9.00 am on the 16 Oct they arrived in Mae Sot and went to the temple that MAP Foundation had contacted and that had agreed to accept the migrants. However, the arrival of nine tour buses attracted the attention of the local villagers who refused to allow the migrants to stay in the temple.
The migrants were exhausted and afraid that their ordeal was now going to continue in Mae Sot but fortunately the Border Police offered them temporary shelter and in the meantime, prospective employers made contact with the migrants and by the morning of October 18th over 300 of the workers had moved to a seafood processing factory in Samut Sakorn with their passports, visas and work permits in tact and an agreement signed between the employer and the workers regarding their working conditions and for the workers right to hold their own documents.