Association slams camp closure,10 billion baht loss estimated

THE Thai Contractors Association under His Majesty the King’s patronage criticised the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration’s (CCSA’s) decision to close construction workers camps in Bangkok for a month pointing out that there are some key issues not addressed while industry-wide damage during this period is estimated to reach 10 billion baht, Siam Rath newspaper said this afternoon (June 27).

Ms Lisa Ngamtrakulpanich, head of this association, said at a meeting with Labour Minister Mr. Suchart Chomklin that it was not clear whether the closure of the camps also meant closure of the construction sites.

Moreover CCSA did not say whether the compensation to the workers covers both those under the social security umbrella and informal workers and their families or just the former.

Two other issues are the right to extend construction contracts and whether construction sites that have vaccinated their workers and carry out proactive tests must close as well.

At present there are over 400 construction workers camps in Bangkok and while big companies are unlikely to be affected, there is concern about how small ones scattered in various communities will fare.

An unclear policy would lead to workers fleeing home with this spreading transmission further, she mentioned. 

Some association members had said that when Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha announced the move to close camps on Friday some daily-wage workers started returning home.

It is not known whether those heading home are Thai or migrant workers but overall there are over 50,000 construction workers in Bangkok.

The closure of workers camps sets off a chain reaction that hits the entire construction industry with supply chain and transportation systems also coming to a halt.

Ms Lisa estimated that the one-month closure would lead to 10 billion baht loss for the entire industry but this will mount higher if it is extended.


Top: Health workers in PPE (personal protective equipment) suits inspect a construction workers camp in Bangkok. Photo: Siam Rath

Home Page: Construction workers repairing a building. Photo: Michael Cory (CC BY 2.0)

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