The bird flu situation in Thailand has put over 200,000 poultry farm workers out of job, according to a leading politician Sunday.
Premsak Phiayura, Chairman of the Parliamentary Labor Committee, was quoted by the Thai News Agency as saying Monday that the mass closure of chicken farms has hit north-easterners particularly hard.
Poultry workers who had migrated to provinces with large-scale chicken farms were now returning to their home provinces in droves, withdrawing their children and grandchildren from local schools, he said.
Calling on Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra to provide extra compensation for poultry farm workers in addition to the 40 baht per chicken (US$1.02) already promised, he warned that children were being denied an education as a result of the mass homeward migration.
So far Thailand confirmed that 24 provinces, particularly in the lower northern region, had been infected with bird flu virus, 18.70 million chickens were killed in the country, the report said.
(Xinhua News Agency February 2, 2004)