Burmese workers win poultry farm pay dispute

Burmese workers win poultry farm pay dispute

A poultry farm operator in Thailand’s Lopburi Province, which foreign media claimed had mistreated 14 Burmese workers, has been found to have underpaid labourers.

But the operation was not involved with human trafficking, Thailand’s Department of Labour Protection and Welfare said.

The finding was revealed by the department’s director-general Pannee Sriyudhsak following an investigation into the alleged mistreatment.

The Guardian newspaper in the UK reported the Burmese workers at the poultry farm were forced to work 22 hours a day and had their passports seized.

Pannee said her agency received complaints from the labourers who demanded payment from the farm based on overtime work of 10 hours a day, stretching for 350 days, totalling more than five million baht (US$143,000).

The department’s Lopburi officers were sent to the farm to check the working hours, patterns of work and holidays.

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It was found the workers and their boss had different views about the overtime and holiday payments. Workers also claimed the employer had promised extra pay in the event the chickens reach a certain weight, Pannee said.

The officers issued an order on Monday to force the employers to be responsible for overtime and holiday payments based on the work from 1-24 June by the Burmese labourers.

The payment, totalling 1.7 million baht ($48,600), must be made within 30 days.

A petition against the order can be lodged in the labour court if either the employers or employees disagree with it.

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