Monday, June 8, 2009

Color-coded employment cards for migrant workers issued

By Hseng Khio Fah

Thai labor ministry has recently prescribed color-coded employment cards under the forthcoming registration for workers from Burma, Laos and Cambodia to differentiate the sort of their works, according to the daily Thai newspaper Khomchadleuk reported last week.

Colors described were:

• Blue card will stand for fisheries
• Green card – agriculture
• Yellow card - construction
• Orange card - seafood factories
• Gray card - domestic work
• Pink card – general

Workers holding pink cards are available to get access to 19 types of work, the report said.

Even though migrant workers holding new registration cards will be allowed to work legally, they will be only appointed after Thai citizens fail to apply. But they will have the right to get access to the basic rights as Thai citizens.

On 2 June, Alien Employment Administration meeting (Kaw Raw Phaw) made up a new policy that job owners must give priority to Thai citizens allowing them 7 days to apply if there is a job vacancy.

The meeting also reached a decision to offer a new round of labor registration to new migrant workers and existing workers who previously lacked legal status.

“People who entered the country after the decision was made will not be allowed to apply for the registration. They will also be arrested and sent back,” labor minister Paitoon Kaewthong was quoted in the report.

During the registration period, border checkpoints would be strongly tightened to stop outsiders from coming to “seize the opportunity.”

He also said all work permit cards will be expired on 28 February 2010. After that employers must ask their workers to apply for passport document.

In Chiangmai province, the registration for the new workers will start from 1 July, a member of a right group said.

Bosses who are willing to appoint new workers can ask for quota at the Employment Department office, she said.

Now, workers holding current permits have been called upon to apply for another year of extension since early June. They were also required to apply for the nationality verification process at same time, according to a worker who was also required to submit the form.

People who pass the process of the nationality verification by their country will be allowed to work for another 2 years.

According to the report, about 500,000 migrant workers have registered with the labor ministry up to now. There are at least 2 million legal and illegal migrant workers in Thailand.

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