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Nov 20, 2008

Bangkok Factories to Layoff 1000 Workers and posibly 100,00 jobs in 2009

Factories in Ayutthaya, one of the major industrial areas in the vicinity of Bangkok, have started to see the affect of the economic downturn, with about 1,000 workers being laid off and a large number of employees at risk of becoming unemployed next year.

The Federation of Thai Industries, Ayutthaya chapter estimated about 100,000 employees or 50 per cent of the workforce in 1,700 factories in Ayutthaya were vulnerable of losing their jobs in 2009 due to slowing export orders. To survive the imminent crisis, entrepreneurs are likely to cut overtime pay and lay off workers. The provincial labour chief admitted the situation was worrisome.

"Nine businesses have laid off about 1,000 employees so far," said Pongthai Musikapong,
chief of Provincial Labour Protection and Welfare Department.

Negative signs are also seen in the job recruiting business, as there is now no demand for labour from factories. The recruitment companies might have to close down.

"Slashing overtime pay and stoping recruitment of new employees are the first doom signs. Normally, there is demand for labourers every month, but since October, we haven’t received any request for recruitment of new employees from factories," Siam Interbusiness Co.,Ltd Managing Director Manus Sabmeechai.

Pressured by on uncertain future of their career, many factory workers struggle to survive by taking courses at a vocational college, which has seen the number of students triple this month. All courses were full with around 10,000 people.

Apinya Chumwapee, an electronic factory worker, said she feels insecure as she can lose her job anytime, so she enrolled in a make-up course to create her own opportunity of a new occupation if she is laid off.

Waewduan Phoyai and her factory colleagues are learning to bake, so they can open their own shop at home if they are forced to leave their current jobs.

"I could be one of the workers laid off soon. I need some skills to help me earn a living,"
Waewduan Phoyai, a factory worker said

Echoeing the voices of these concerned workers, relevant agencies in the province called a meeting to gather details on the unemployment situation. It will be submitted to Deputy Prime Minister Olarn Chaipravat who’s scheduled to visit Ayutthaya next week to address the potential mass lay-offs, also likely to occur in other provinces as well.

Latest statistics by the labour ministry disclosed that 166 firms had terminated about 18,000 workers. Another 81 companies with 29,000 employees were expected to be affected later.

Source : MCOT
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