Thai women feel exploited by Norwegian employer

Norway landscape

Two Thai women, Maneesita Jaidee and Wilaiwan Donkeawprai, claim that they have been working ten hours a day and have not been paid since they arrived at the world’s most northern Thai restaurant, Taste of Thai, in Longyearbyen in Norway.

Taste of Thai is a restaurant that had its beginning in Lompensenteret in 2012 and is the world’s most northern Thai restaurant. Maneesita Jaidee found the job on a Facebook page for Thai chefs who are seeking jobs around the world.

“One day they posted that they were in need of a Thai chef in Norway. The salary was 10,000 NOK a month. For us Thai people, that is a lot of money, so I applied for the job and got it,” says Maneesita Jaidee to the Norwegian newspaper Svalbardposten.

“The conditions are actually great compared to Thailand, but I did not know that we had to work ten hours a day, six days in a row, without breaks. I think we get just above 30 NOK an hour,” says Jaidee.

She believes that she has gotten minimal information from her boss about her salary and working conditions, but the owner of the restaurant, Wiggo Lund, sees it differently.

“They said that they were professional chefs, but they were not,” Wiggo Lund says. He says that it is with a heavy heart that he and his wife have to send them home. According to him, they will be paid eventually, but that they have not been due to some unfinished paperwork with the Norwegian government.


Source: Thainytt, Svalbardposten

About Maria Jønsson

Maria Jønsson is a journalist trainee working at ScandAsia from 1 August 2016 till February 2017.

View all posts by Maria Jønsson

One Comment on “Thai women feel exploited by Norwegian employer”

  1. Not sure I understand their complaint fully. In Thailand they would work 10-12 hours
    a day 6 days a week so this would be their normal work day. They don’t appear to
    have been exploited. Possibly just working off the cost of there flight and travel expenses.
    Of course they are probably not used to the hustle and bustle of a busy western run
    restaurant. After all what does “professional chef” mean. You are paid to cook. If
    they have worked as cooks in a restaurant before they are “professional”. Just a
    communication error. Sorry for both parties that it has not worked out.

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