Author Topic: Jobs for Thais abroad: Workers fall victim to brokers' cunning  (Read 849 times)

Offline Johnnie F.

  • Administrator
  • Korat forum specialist
  • *****
  • Posts: 6454
    • Korat-Info
Workers fall victim to brokers' cunning

Empty promises to labourers of work abroad lead to heartache and poverty,

Labour export swindles continue to thrive, and workers and the government are regularly manipulated by clever job brokers who exploit workers' ignorance and the Labour Ministry's inadequate protection measures.

Cunning businessmen take advantage of labourers' strong desire to work abroad with promises of handsome wages in return for expensive fees.

Most workers believe the brokers even though they have been warned by officials against job scams which, in many cases, result in victims getting very little or nothing at all after paying their money and leaving the country.

"Because of this craving [for jobs overseas], they quickly hand over their money without gathering enough information before making a decision," said Saman Laodamrongchai, a researcher at Chulalongkorn University's Asian Research Center for Migration.

Workers need information such as the wages, daily expenses and working conditions in the country they want to go to and work in so they can make the right decision, he said.

Without this information, they can be lured all too easily by the false promises of good money.

Workers play a major role in enabling these swindles. The high demand for jobs overseas has driven up the fees they have to pay to secure a position. Some jobs require a fee of more than 100,000 baht, Mr Saman said.

The most popular Asian destinations for workers are Taiwan, Singapore, South Korea and Japan.

Israel, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Kuwait are the most favoured places in the Middle East. Now there are new job opportunities opening up in some African countries such as Libya and Nigeria.

"So, job brokers simply deceive them into paying more in line with the greater distance to travel to these countries," said Udon Thani labour official Supot Aimmongkolkul.

Udon Thani is the biggest labour-exporting province, sending more than 19,000 abroad in 2008, followed by Nakhon Ratchasima and Khon Kaen.

The global economic downturn is affecting employment in many countries and they have cut their imports of foreign labour. Mr Supot said many Thai workers might not know this and could fall victim to crooked job brokers.

A shortage of the right information caused deep financial wounds to Thai labourers who went last year to work in Sweden as berry pickers only to find the seasonal work bore no fruit for them.

Udon Thani resident Chalermpol Natatong, 28, complained about his tough life in Sweden, which differed greatly to the stories of successful berry pickers told by the company he paid to secure his job. He was promised between 100,000 and 200,000 baht in two months, but all he earned was 1,000 baht a day and he had large expenses.

Labour Minister Paitoon Kaewthong admitted Thailand had sent more workers to Sweden last year at a time when the number of wild berries was decreasing. Last year, 5,900 workers headed for Sweden compared to 3,500 in 2008.

Labour officials have been criticised for not taking serious action to protect Thai workers against job swindlers.

Mr Saman blamed the ministry policies that force its staff to do so much work that they have little time to look seriously into the problems of overseas jobs.

"This has reduced their working efficiency and they eventually become indifferent to the problem and do not want to get involved," he said.

Academics have called on the government to be more active by stringently enforcing the law and adopting a new approach to the problem.

Dusadee Ayuwat, of the humanities and social sciences faculty at Khon Kaen University, suggested that the government should itself play a stronger role in sending workers abroad.

The government is responsible for exporting just 5% of the 1.6 million workers now working overseas, which is not enough.

If the government helps make it easier for workers in their search for jobs, job seekers will be able to save more money by not having to pay brokerage fees. This will avoid the risk of them being fooled by tricky companies.

"Take the Philippines as an example," Ms Dusadee said.

"It has good management to facilitate and effectively prepare its workers for overseas jobs."

Bangkok Post


  • Guest
Re: Jobs for Thais abroad: Workers fall victim to brokers' cunning
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2010, 11:21:16 AM »
Things like this will certainly help disspell the myth that all farangs are rich and earning bucketloads of money, when in fact the majority save up for a half year to enjoy a 3 week holiday.