Thai migrant workers offered incentives to stay in Israel: embassy

Photo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Photo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs

The Embassy of Israel assured that Thai migrant workers in Israel were treated fairly after claims that employers were delaying payments to make them stay in the country amid the ongoing Hamas-Israel conflict.

The embassy said that while the state did not delay payments to make Thai migrant workers stay, it was offering them incentives for them to continue working in Israel.

“In light of recent rumor on treatment of Thai workers, the Embassy of Israel in Bangkok has assured Thai authorities the Israeli government is doing its best to ensure the fair treatment of Thai workers,” the embassy said in a statement.

The embassy said that no restrictions have been placed by the Israeli government on workers wishing to return home, and that they would be able to return to their jobs once the conflict has subsided.

The embassy also confirmed that the agriculture ministry agreed to extend work visas for Thai workers for a sixth year, with consideration to extend a seventh year. The embassy reassured that the ministry is offering 20 million Shekels (THB180 million) as compensation for workers as well as monthly grants for foreign workers stationed along the Gaza Strip until the end of this year.

The ministry has set up 430 shelters in agricultural areas across the country in order to ensure workers’ safety.

The response comes after Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin criticized Israeli employers for delaying payments until Nov. 10 in order to force Thai migrant workers to stay in Israel amid the Israel-Hamas conflict. 

He urged workers to return home as their lives were at risk during a period of conflict, and reassured that the government would help them find jobs in Thailand. 

Some 30,000 Thai workers in Israel belong in the agricultural and food sectors.

“We deeply value the commitment of Thai workers in preserving Israel’s food supply chain during these turbulent times. Their dedication ensures continued food security for all residents of the State of Israel,” Israel ambassador Orna Sagiv said in a statement.

As of Wednesday, more than 3,400 Thai nationals have evacuated from Israel, according to the foreign affairs ministry.

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