Lao authorities say they will crack down on alien workers and send them back to their countries in an effort to save jobs for Lao workers who will be returning home from Thailand because of the global financial crisis.
Mr. Thongdeng Singthilath, Deputy Director of Laos' Employment and Labor Skills Development Bureau, asserts that those caught illegally working in the country will be deported as soon as possible.
Authorities estimate there are over 100,000 illegal laborers working in Laos, mostly from Vietnam and China. Lao employers are allowed to hire foreign workers no more than 10% of their workforce.
According to Thai non-governmental organizations' estimates, there are more than 400,000 Lao workers in Thailand, and that does not include the approximately 50,000 who are working there legally. Lao officials expect more than 14,000 Lao workers will come home in the near future, forced out of their employment in Thailand because of the global economic downturn.
In a related development, government officials say they will issue ordinances to provincial authorities to stop levying fines on returning workers, in an effort to relieve their hardship.
Songrit PonNgern, our Bangkok stringer, says returning workers are fined 300,000 kips each by provincial administration.
Listen to Songrit's report for more details in Lao.