Dubai: As more and more Thai nationals are moving to the UAE for employment, the government of Thailand has ensured that their workers’ rights are protected, Thai Labour Attache Banyat Siriprecha told Gulf News.
“UAE is a big target for many Thai workers. Last year alone, from January to December, I attested 9,000 new Thai workers who came to the UAE for work. My office has been given the duty to provide protection for Thai workers beginning August this year,” Siriprecha told Gulf News.
To accommodate all labour-related issues, four officers, headed by Siriprecha have been assigned to work at the Labours Affairs office, an attached arm of the Royal Thai Embassy in Abu Dhabi.
Though Siriprecha has been working at the embassy since last year, his office’s fresh mandate was given only in August to make sure that workers’ rights across the country are protected.
According to figures from the Royal Thai Embassy, an estimated 10,800 Thais are living and working in the UAE currently. Most of them are skilled and semi-skilled workers who are employed in industries such as petro-chemical, hospitality and construction. Others hold positions in restaurant and airline businesses.
But Siriprecha believes the number is in fact bigger by about 2,000 to 3,000 based on his site visits to workplaces of Thai workers in the UAE particularly in oil refineries in Al Ruwais and companies in Musafa in Abu Dhabi.
Siriprecha said his office deals with labour complaints seriously especially in terms of ensuring that Thai workers are paid correctly and on time, as per the Thai minister of labour’s instruction.
“The minister of labour said we should make sure that Thai workers overseas are paid two or three times more than how they are paid in Thailand otherwise there would be no need to send them for work overseas,” Siriprecha said.
One of the complaints they received involved a certain company in Abu Dhabi for maltreatment and non-payment of wages. After monitoring both sides, Siriprecha noted that the company’s behaviour has changed.
“As soon as the company found out about our office, their behaviour changed and the problem was reduced. Payment of wages is no longer late,” Siriprecha said.
Siriprecha urged his compatriots to report any labour-related concerns to his office line at 02-5576833/02-5576844. Those who need their papers attested may send a scanned copy first and get an appointment for all transactions to be more convenient for both parties.