Karen construction worker killed after falling six floors

A Karen migrant worker died after falling from the sixth floor of Chiang Mai construction site on Monday, September 16.

The dead worker was identified as 20-year-old, Saw Ye Tun Naing, who came to work in Chaing Mai from the Delta region of Burma.

Saw Than Hlaing , a fellow migrant worker, told Karen News that Saw Ye Tun Naing fell from the 6th floor of the building while working overtime at night.

“It was night when he fell – died at once. As soon as he fell down, he was taken to Chiang Mai General Hospital. He is now in the mortuary.”

Saw Than Hlaing said he had been trying to get in contact Saw Ye Tun Naing’s parents back in Burma.

“We want to arrange for his funeral, we have been in contact with his parents back in Burma.”

Saw Ye Tun Naing is from Irrawaddy Division in Burma and he came and worked in Construction Company in Chiang Mai with a temporary passport.

The, Funeral and Social Affair team (Chiang Mai) that assists Burmese migrant workers is helping with the funeral service for Saw Ye Tun Naing.

Ma Mi Mi, the chairperson for the Funeral and Social Affair team (Chaing Mai) said that Saw Ye Tun Naing’s father is expected to come to Chaing Mai for his son’s funeral.

“As Saw Ye Tun Naing is Karen and a Buddhist, our team is planning his funeral that will be held at the Wetsai Mon Myanmar monastery in Chiang Mai.”

Ma Mi Mi explained that following Saw Ye Tun Naing death she met with the construction manager who promised to take responsibility for all funeral expenditure and to pay compensation to Saw Ye Tun Naing family according to the Thai Labor laws.

It is estimated that there are around 500 migrant workers on the construction site which is near Children’s Court in Chiang Mai where Saw Ye Tun Naing was killed . Workers said that in the past, there had been small workplace accidents on the site resulting in minor injuries and Saw Ye Tun Naing’s death was the first fatality.

Few building sites provide safety harnesses, hard hats, safety barriers or other protective equipment to workers.

There are an estimated 3 million foreign migrant’s working in Thailand, more than 80% of these come from Burma. Since the end of the 1980s, migrant workers have been irregularly crossing into Thailand from Burma, seeking a better life.

International labor organisations have reported that migrant workers with few legal protections, migrant workers are often found doing the most physically demanding, dirty and dangerous jobs in Thailand, forming an important facet of Thailand’s economy – over the decades they have provided billions of dollars in remittances to support relatives back home – mainly doing jobs unpopular with Thai workers.

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