Govt blacklists Dole-Thailand over labour dispute

The government has blacklisted Dole Thailand, a multinational canned fruit company, after Myanmar workers accused one of its factories of labour rights violations, the Myanmar Embassy in Bangkok said in a statement.

“Migrant workers in the kingdom are allowed to take leave and go back home with re-entry visas, but the factory did not allow this, and instead fired them. This is wrong and a labour rights violation,” Myanmar labour attaché U San Maung Oo said on Tuesday.

About 130 Myanmar migrants had been prevented from returning to work, and the management allegedly asked them to pay 3500 baht (US$106/K164,368) each for visas, medical check-ups and work permit fees if they want their jobs back.

The dispute between the factory and workers had not been settled despite three mediation meetings between factory officials and Myanmar officials, in cooperation with Thai Labour Department officials, according to an embassy statement.

The Myanmar labour attaché has also filed a lawsuit against the company with Thailand’s Labour Protection Department for failing to rehire the workers and demanding that they pay for their paperwork.

U San Maung Oo said Myanmar will submit the labour dispute with Dole Thailand at the Global Forum on Labour Rights Affairs that will be held in the kingdom soon.

The Myanmar labour attaché alleged in a statement that, after investigating, it found that the factory exploited its workers by demanding that they pay the factory for their documents to work in the country. It alleged that the factory manager conspired with the management to cheat the workers.

The Myanmar embassy is helping the sacked workers find jobs at two other factories.

“Myanmar (employment) agencies will face action if they send more workers to the factory,” an official of the Myanmar Overseas Employment Agencies Federation said on Monday.

The blacklisted factory in Prachuap Khiri Khan province in southern Thailand employs 3000 people, according to the embassy and the federation.

Written by Zaw Zaw Htwe
Source: Myanmar Times
Published on 10 October 2018

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