The Council of Labor Affairs (CLA) has approved an application by the Kaohsiung Rapid Transit Corp (KRTC) to extend work permits for its 685 Thai laborers until October, a company spokesman said yesterday.
The work permit extension will accelerate the construction of Kaohsiung's mass rapid transit (MRT) system, KRTC said.
The MRT completion is scheduled for mid-2009. KRTC began to recruit Thai workers in 2003.
The number of Thai nationals working for the KRTC project reached a peak of 1,717 at one point, but the number has gradually declined since August 2005, when a group of Thai workers rioted in protest of the inhuman treatment they given.
The riot adversely affected KRTC's image, prompting the Kaohsiung City Council to pass a resolution demanding the city government see to it that KRTC no longer recruited foreign laborers after the existing contracts expire.