Bangkok-Many workers in Thailand still want to land jobs in Taiwan, despite a recent online article that complains about low wage levels there.
The article posted on the website PTT, Taiwan's largest online 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 in Taiwan.
Although the article has gone viral and has trigged discussion among netizens, official statistics from Thailand indicate that the number of Thai workers applying to work in Taiwan remains basically stable.
According to data compiled by Thailand's Ministry of Labor, Taiwan and South Korea are the most popular destinations among the more-than 70,000 Thai workers approved to work overseas.
Over the past three years, some 25,000 Thai workers have chosen to work in Taiwan every year, but the number declined by 10 percent last year, the tallies show.
Kampanat, a Thai worker who worked in Taiwan for 13 years, told CNA that 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 had worked in Kaohsiung, Tainan and Changhua, said that while in Taiwan, he could earn more than NT$20,000 (US$690) per month, with the additional opportunity to work overtime.
"That is much better than in Thailand," he said, adding that he still wants to work in Taiwan if there is a chance. "I still have many friends in Taiwan."
According to Kampanat, some of his other friends have chosen to go to South Korea or Saudi Arabia because wages are higher there, but he said he would not do so, since "it is hard for us to adapt to life there."
Kampanat, who now works 12-hour days as a security guard in Bangkok, said he earns 15,000 baht (US$470) per month.
Compared with the salary he got in Taiwan, he said he earns less now. "Taiwan's salaries are higher."
Dang, another Thai worker who also 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 per month, an equivalent of NT$733 per day, more than double the level in Thailand. One Taiwan dollar is equal to one Thai baht.
The basic wage in Thailand is 310 baht per day, which is lower than that in many countries, including Taiwan, which pushes many people to seek jobs overseas.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel