Myanmar: Over 2,000 migrant workers file labor grievances

U Sein Htay, leader of the Migrant Worker Rights Network, announced on14 October that over 2,000 Myanmar workers based in Mahachai,Thailand, have filed workplace complaints within the past year.

U Sein Htay reported this figure at a workshop on migration and mediaheld in Yangon.

Workers have citedissues such as physical injury, with held salary, and inability to extend work permits.

The Migrant Worker Rights Network also reported that from 2008 to 2012, only one in two hundred laborers received full compensation for costs associated with injuries sustained on the job.

U Sein Htay said that agencies in Thailand could not effectively resolve conflicts related to Myanmar workers.

He and the Migrant Worker Rights Network assert that Myanmar employment agencies associated with the Ministry of Labor, Employment and Social Welfare, which send local workers to foreign countries, are responsible for handling these problems.

“[These agencies] should take responsibility when complications arise.The government should also urge them to assume accountability,” said Dr. Thein Than Win, a supporter of workers’ rights.

U Win Myint, managing director from Greenway Overseas Employment Agency in Tamwe Township, is advocating for the punishment of local agencies that illegally send workers overseas.

There are three to four million Myanmar workers currently stationed in Thailand.