Htoo Chit added that the Global Economic Crisis and political situation in Thailand have also affected migrant workers.

Non-stop raining causes difficulties for Migrant Workers
Friday, 04 September 2009 03:15
A month’s worth of non-stop rain in Phang Nga province, Southern Thailand is causing great difficulties for Burmese migrant workers.
“We haven’t been able to work for the whole of last month and we only had 15 days work in July” said U Myo Aung, a rubber plantation worker from Takuapa Township in Phang Nga.
“When our family is able to work on the rubber plantation we earn around 700 Baht per day but now we are dependent on Banchi shop (shops that sell on credit). It may be more expensive than buying with cash in a normal shop but in some areas they don’t even have banchi shops so many rubber workers are facing difficulties” he added.
Recent non-stop raining affects also construction work, so less construction work means reduced workers on the construction site.
U Kyaw Min, a construction worker said; “Before there were 60 workers with good jobs but now there are only 10. As a result of it raining every day we cannot even work on basic construction work such as making block ceiling or concrete mixing so we have to stop working. Recently we have only been able to do the final decoration of the building, tiling and ceiling in buildings that already have roofing”.
According to Mr. Htoo Chit, the Executive Director of the Foundation for Education and Education (FED), formally Grassroots Human Rights Education (GHRE), based in Phang Nga said; “The workers who depend on seasonal jobs face great difficulties due the weather conditions, especially rubber workers, masonry workers (construction) and people working in fishing are facing difficulties”.
Htoo Chit added that the Global Economic Crisis and political situation in Thailand have also affected migrant workers. “Especially Thailand’s political situation and the Global Economic Crisis have also affected Burmese migrant workers directly and indirectly. For example, in the Hotel and Tourism industry; some hotels have reduced its workforce by half or have asked their staff to work only for 15 days per month. Due to this Global Crisis, many Burmese who are working in Travel and Tourism are also facing difficulties”. Reduced tourism numbers may also have slowed down and reduced construction work in the area, again, affecting migrant workers.
Within Phang Nga there are an estimated 150,000 Burmese migrant workers who work in rubber, construction and fisheries.

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