Representatives of the Migrant Worker Rights Network formally handed a complaint letter to the Koh Samui provincial offices on January 9, signed by MWRN President U Sein Htay Sun regarding what is alleges are systematic violations of migrant worker labour and employment rights on Koh Samui, Koh Phangnan and Koh Tao.
These three islands are all globally renowned, successful and productive tourist islands in Surat Thani Province that are a key source of income for Thailand’s economy, according to the NGO.
The letter was delivered by MWRN International Affairs AdvisorMr Andy Hall, accompanied by Human Rights and Development Foundation’s Daw Aye Mar Cho, writes Mr Hall on his Facebook page.
The letter has also been delivered to the governor of Surat Thani province and other relevant authorities.
The NGO, which supports Myanmar migrant workers’ rights, called on the Thai authorities to ensure the migrant workers receive the official 300 baht [K10,000] minimum daily wage, appropriate overtime pay, and time off. The letter calls for registration and work permits for workers, as well social security coverage, including support in the case of illness and accidents.
MWRN called for all migrant workers on Koh Samui, Koh Tao and Koh Phangnan to be protected and treated in accordance with Thai and international labour and employment laws, the rule of law and general human rights.
The letter is said to be the result of three months of investigations and interviews with migrant workers on the islands.
MWRN has found migrants on the islands frequently receive a monthly salary that, when calculated based on numbers of days and hours worked per month, is below the minimum wage levels.
In addition, many are not sufficiently protected in case of illness or accidents. The NGO has come across cases of migrants who have been left destitute after an accident or illness, with little or no support provided by their employer.