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In Thailand, Myanmar migrants’ ad hoc unions fight for legitimacy | Labour Rights

This story was supported by the Pulitzer Center and Democratic Voice of Burma

Ranong, Thailand – When Po Kyaw left for work on board a new ship in the coastal town of Ranong last month, his wife and sister-in-law reminded him to be careful despite his 10 years of experience working on boats in Thailand.

But just one day later, Po Kyaw was killed at sea while performing a check on the propeller.

“I was worried when he left the house,” his sister-in-law told Al Jazeera, asking to use a pseudonym for her brother to protect his identity. “I told him, ‘When you go underwater, take care. You’ve done this before, you’ll do well.’”

Po Kyaw’s family were initially unaware they were entitled to compensation under Thailand’s social security system that would help support his widow and five children. After several attempts at convincing the family to pursue compensation, a…

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