On 20 December 2011, Miss Pattaraporn Samantarat, Minister-Counsellor (Labour), and Miss Suhaida Waedaha, Assistant – Employment Promotion, paid a visit to Acre Works Sdb Bhd, M-3-10 Plaza Damas, No. 60 Jalan Srihartamas 1, 50480 Kuala Lumpur, the company’s head office, and its construction site at Bukit Jalil, and workers’ accommodation. The visit was to check on the employment and living conditions of Thai workers, as well as to get to know and build a good relationship with the business in order to promote Thai worker employment.
Acre Works Sdn Bhd was founded in 2002 and is a construction company, ISO 9001/2008 certified, specializing in infrastructure, civil engineering, and building construction. At present the company has 3 undergoing projects i.e. Electrified Double Track Project, Proposed Development of New LCC Terminal and Associated Works at KL International Airport, Sepang, Selangor, and Extension of Light Rail Transit System for Kuala Lumpur Facilities Works (Package A) for the Ampang Line Project. The latter project employs Thai workers in the positions of Launching Superintendent (1 person with the wage 11,000 Ringgit), Launching Supervisor (1 person wtih the wage 5,000 (Ringgit), and Rigger (6 persons with the wage 3,000 Ringgit). All Thai workers come from Nakorn Ratchasima and are skilled and experienced workers. Most used to work in installation and lifting of bridge structure with sliding metal frames in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. As such they have gained trust and acceptance of the company.
Regarding welfare and wage, it is explained that since the company’s work focuses on the quality of work and the punctuality of delivery to customers, no overtime payment is paid. The delivery schedule is together agreed with the supervisor. If the work is finished before due or upon due, and meets all specifications, there will be special payment which is higher than overtime payment. The company arranges car to and from accommodation and work site. The accommodation is twin house, 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, shared with a Malaysian Launching Manager, as well as kitchen and cooking appliances, and living room.
Regarding the administration, the company focuses on team work and living together as a family. The Company has local staff consisting of Malay, Chinese, and Indian, in total 102 persons, and 300 Indonesian and 8 Thai workers. Every year the company will hold an activity for staff at all levels to gather and travel both in Malaysia and Thailand. From observation, staff at all levels seems to appreciate Thai workers and Thai-ness as well as travel destinations in Thailand.
Based on the summary presentation and a meeting with the company’s management, the company has plans to expand its construction business further in many projects and has demand for more skilled workers, especially those with experience and skills in infrastructure and big construction works. The company gets quota for hiring foreign workers in different positions in total 600 positions and is interested to hire experienced Thai workers due to good attitude towards Thai workers. If the performance of this set of Thai workers is accepted and trusted, the company would definitely hire more Thai. The Office of Labour Affairs in Malaysia gave introductory documents on Thai workers employment to the company and informed them that the office is ready to facilitate and coordinate any matters regarding Thai workers employment, and that pre-employment training on required skills is also possible. Such trainings would be cooperated with regional offices of the Skill Development Department and would be shaped to fit the employers’ demand. The company’s management is interested and wishes to hire Thai workers via recruitment companies while still conducting selection and interview by the company itself.