Sat, Jan 13, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Thai workers still drawn to Taiwan

Staff writer, with CNA, BANGKOK

Despite a small drop, Taiwan and South Korea are the most popular destinations among the more than 70,000 Thai workers approved to work overseas each year, data compiled by the Thai Ministry of Labor showed.

An article that has gone viral on Professional Technology Temple, Taiwan’s biggest online academic bulletin board system, said that many Thai workers employed in Taiwan are planning to return to Thailand once their contracts end because of the low wages they receive here.

The article has triggered discussion among netizens.

About 25,000 Thai workers have applied to work in Taiwan every year over the past three years, but the number declined by 10 percent last year, the Thai data showed.

Kampanat, a Thai who worked in Taiwan for 13 years, said he would have loved to stay in Taiwan longer if he had not needed to go back to Thailand due to family reasons.

Kampanat, who worked in Kaohsiung, Tainan and Changhua, said that in Taiwan, he would earn more than NT$20,000 (US$676) per month, with the opportunity to work overtime.

“That is much better than in Thailand,” he said, adding that he would still like to work in Taiwan if there is a chance.

“I still have many friends in Taiwan,” he said.

Some of his friends went to South Korea or Saudi Arabia because wages there are higher, but he would not do so, as “it is hard for us to adapt to life there,” Kampanat said.

Kampanat now works 12-hour days as a security guard in Bangkok and said he earns 15,000 baht (US$469) per month.

Dang, another Thai worker who used to work in Taiwan and is now a street fruit vendor in Bangkok, said he earns 40,000 baht per month, but needs to work 15 hours every day.

“My work experience in Taiwan was good and so was the salary,” he said.

The minimum wage in Taiwan stands at NT$22,000 (US$743) per month, but foreign workers often earn less than that. Most foreign household caregivers, for example, earn only NT$17,000 (US$574) per month.

The basic wage in Thailand is 310 baht per day (US$9.70), pushing many people to seek jobs overseas.

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