Burma

Thai Govt to Compensate Families of Myanmar Workers Killed in Construction Collapse

By Zaw Zaw Htwe 27 November 2019

YANGON—The Social Security Office of Thailand’s Ministry of Labor says it will pay compensation to the families of each of seven workers, including three Myanmar nationals, who were killed in a construction accident in Thailand’s southern province of Phuket last Thursday. The Thai government will pay each family compensation equal to 70 percent of the workers’ salaries for 10 years, totaling 720,720 baht (US$23,860) per family. The Thai government will also pay 33,000 baht in compensation to each worker’s family for funeral fees.

At 1 p.m. on Thursday, a fuel station under construction collapsed, burying nine workers including four Myanmar nationals and five Thai workers who were having lunch at the time. Two workers were injured and the remaining seven were killed in the collapse.

Thai Social Security Office Secretariat Tosapol Kritawongwiman said Friday that the two injured workers will be given compensation equal to 70 percent of their wages for up to one year, in addition to up to 2,000,000 baht to cover medical expenses. If the injured workers become disabled, they will be given 70 percent of their monthly wages indefinitely.

Thai news outlets are also reporting that the local municipal government ordered the project to suspend construction on Nov. 6 but construction continued anyway.

According to a report by The Phuket News, local police issued an arrest warrant for the managing director of the company in charge of the construction site for negligence leading to death and serious injury, as the company continued construction despite the ban from the municipality.

Two of the Myanmar nationals killed, Ma Kaythi Khine and Ko Nay Myo Win, who had been working in Thailand since 2012, died at the scene of the accident along with four workers from Thailand.

Another Myanmar national, Ko Sa Aung Aung, died later from injuries sustained in the collapse. His wife, Ma Myo Myo Yi, was seriously injured. They began working in Thailand in 2017.

U Kyaw Soe Wai, Myanmar’s labor attaché to Thailand, told The Irrawaddy on Tuesday that Thailand’s Social Security Office will pay compensation for Ma Myo Myo Yi’s injuries and for the death of her husband despite the fact that their employer hadn’t paid taxes for their employment to the Social Security Office.

Thailand’s Ministry of Labor fined the employer for failing to pay social security taxes for their workers. The fines will be used to pay compensation to Ma Myo Myo Myi, the labor attaché said.

”The director of the Social Security Office confirmed to us that they will pay compensation for the injuries and deaths. But we have to follow office procedures to claim the compensations,” said U Kyaw Soe Wai.

According to U Kyaw Soe Wai, the funeral ceremony for Ko Sa Aung Aung was held on Sunday and the funerals for Ma Kaythi Khine and Ko Nay Myo Win were held on Tuesday.

Ma Myo Myo Yi was seriously injured in her arm and pelvic bone and was recently released from the hospital.

An estimated 4 million Myanmar nationals are living and working in Thailand.

According to the Myanmar Ministry of Labor, around 20,000 Myanmar workers depart for Thailand every month to work under the memorandum of understanding (MoU) system established by the two countries. Around 6,000 Myanmar workers return from Thailand every month.

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