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Saturday, January 28, 2023

Community craft centre exploiting indigenous Karen weavers

Members of the Bang Kloi Karen community employed as weavers in a community craft centre have accused the centre of exploiting indigenous workers. The Karen workers claim they suffer poor working conditions and are paid less than the minimum wage.

The craft centre at Pong Luek-Bang Kloi Village employs members of the indigenous Karen community as weavers.

Activist Anchalee Ismanyee said weavers are paid much less than the official minimum wage in Phetchaburi province of 335 baht (US$10) per day. Working conditions at the centre are not up to standard, with insufficient lighting in the building causing eye problems for workers.

A weaver working on her house balcony, with a backstrap loom in Mae Takri, Doi Saket District, Chiang Mai Province. Photo by Sali Sasaki.
It takes up to eight months to complete a piece of fabric. Weavers are not paid daily but for each piece of fabric.

Workers are paid as little as 5000 baht (US$160) for each piece of textile they complete. That’s roughly two weeks of minimum…

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