Others were being hired to work in resorts, a gathering of about 40 concerned employers was told at Provincial Hall in Phuket City.
The Deputy General of the Labor Office in Bangkok, Prawit Keangpon, chaired the meeting, having come to Phuket to hear what the employers, mostly in the property construction industry, had to say.
Led by the President of the Phuket Business Association, Prasat Boontantrapiwat, people at the meeting told of their dissatisfaction with the national verification system, which was designed to overcome misgivings about the high number of illegal migrant workers.
Some estimates of the number of Burmese, working illegally and legally on Phuket and with their families included, run as high as 200,000.
But the new-found legitimacy delivered by the verification process has generated problems of an unexpected kind, the meeting heard. Khun Prasat estimated that the cost of the legitimisation process meant an employer was paying about 18,000 baht for each worker.
''Now the resorts come to take my people,'' Khun Prasat said. ''Who pays back the 18,000 baht to me?''
His sentiment was echoed by an employer who said he had 100 Burmese staff. ''If I make them all legal, how do I recoup the cost,'' he asked.
Burmese were now able to get driving licences and those with a good education and the ability to speak English were discovering that they could prosper on their own on Phuket, the meeting heard.
Burmese were opening shops, working in resorts, and one group had even set up their own small construction firm, the meeting was told.
Kanok Siripanichkoon, Director of the Phuket Transport Office, said that an average of 30 Burmese each day were now qualifying for motorcycle or car driving licences.
''What can I do,'' Khun Kanok said. ''I can't stop them.''
A ''Ranong model'' for Burmese ID under which a former Governor of Ranong issued local IDs to all Burmese was overlooked in preference for the more complicated and more costly national verification scheme, which is due to wind up in February.