Employers seek migrant workers to cut costs after wage hike takes effect


BANGKOK, 4 January 2013 Several entrepreneurs who suffer from the 300-baht minimum wage rise have begun hiring illegal immigrants instead of Thai workers to avoid the rising costs. In response, the authorities at the borders have tightened security measures, especially in Chiang Rai, where illegal migrant workers have often been spotted.

Security officers have been patrolling the Thai-Myanmar border from Mae Fah Luang District all the way to the district of Mae Sai ,as well as along the rivers in Chiang Sean District, Chiang Rai Province. The move is to prevent illegal immigrants entering the country to seek employment, given authorities believe that a number of Thai employers aim to cut costs by replacing Thai workers with cheap labors from neighboring countries since the 300-minimum wage policy went into effect on January 1st, this year.

The wage rise has also affected several factories, forcing them to lock their doors. Hundreds of laid-off workers from many provinces have flocked to the Social Security Office to continue their social security coverage. More than 50 workers were seen applying for unemployment benefits in Si Sa Ket on January 3rd. after the factory they worked in had been shut down.

At least two factories were shut down in Burirum. Nearly 500 workers who were laid off left also went to claim social security benefits.

Meanwhile, the Social Security Office has begun to get over 10,000 jobs lined up for the recently unemployed workers; it will also hold job fairs shortly.