Two Myanmar Migrants Receive Compensation after Getting Sacked

In a rare favorable turn for migrant workers, two Myanmar nationals reported being paid thousands of baht in compensation after they were laid off by a Thai steel factory this week.

Ko Tin Soe Lwin and his wife Ma Ngwe Tin were both laid off as part of an alleged staff downsizing at the Jaguar Steel Factory in Hwe Mu Village west of Mae Sot, Thailand.

“They said they would offer compensation [as they needed] to reduce the number of workers. Since I have a 13 years of work experience, I received 100,117 baht (around US$ 3,020). My wife Ma Ngwe Tin has eight years of work experience so she received 82,239 baht (around US$ 2,480),” said Ko Tin Soe Lwin.

He added that they were given no advanced warning of the termination plans, however.

U Moe Gyo, chair of the Joint Action Committee for Burma Affairs (JACBA), said the compensation allotted to the pair was in line with Thai labour laws and both sides were satisfied.

“This is the first time hundreds of thousands baht has been provided as compensation. Most [migrant workers] are struggling to get their unpaid salaries, which is around 4,000 or 5,000 baht, and unpaid overtime fees,” he said to Karen News on October 11.

Mae Sot has over 200 officially-recognized factories. Jaguar Steel Factory, which produces food storage canisters and dinnerware, has over 70 employers, according to workers.

Over 3 million Myanmar migrant workers are working officially and unofficially in Thailand. Labor rights groups estimate between 300,000 and 400,000 Myanmar laborers work in Tak Province, which includes Mae Sot.

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