Wed, Jul 20, 2005 - Page 2 News List

Council of Labor Affairs lifts ban on Thai workers


The government yesterday scrapped a seven-month restriction on hiring Thai workers that was imposed after Thailand bowed to China's pressure and reduced contacts with Taiwan.

"Starting today, we will cut screening time for the recruitment of a Thai worker from 90 days to seven-to-10 days, as it was before we imposed the restriction last December," said Kuo Fang-yu (郭芳煜), the Council of Labor Affairs (CLA) official in charge of foreign workers.

The reason for removing the restriction was that last week Thailand invited CLA Minister Chen Chu (陳菊) to attend a bilateral labor conference in Thailand, and Chen met with Thai Labor Minister Soraat Klinpratoom, Kuo said.

"The two sides agreed to make the annual Taiwan-Thailand labor conference a ministerial-level conference and agreed to cooperate," he said.

Chen's visit to Thailand has set a model for future contacts between both countries' labor officials, he said.

Thai workers form the biggest portion of foreign laborers in the country, at about 10,000.

But while Taiwan is trying to upgrade ties with Thailand, Bangkok is trying to keep the ties unofficial so as not to anger China.

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