According to Amporn Nitisiri, director-general of Thailand’s Department of Labor Protection and Welfare, nearly 61,000 workers - 60,704 exactly - working in Japanese owned companies had their working hours cut, with 140,000 overall at risk.
The situation in Japan caused 60 business operators in Thailand to reduce production output due to insufficient raw materials and led them to cut overtime working hours and to stop operations under Article 75 of regulations guiding foreign investments.
The five most-affected provinces are Ayutthaya, Samut Prakan, Chonburi, Chachoengsao and Pathum Thani, Mrs Amporn, said citing the latest information as of April 28.
Some 300 businesses with 80,130 employees are now being watched for possible impacts from the disaster in Japan, the labor official said.
However, not all the effects are negative. Twenty-six businesses with 23,016 workers have benefited from more orders. The firms include food processing, auto parts, ceramics, aluminum, construction materials, and fruit and vegetable exports.
Meanwhile, Yongyuth Mentaphao, president of the Federation of Automotive Labor Unions said Thailand’s auto production has dropped by half in the past two months.
A number of companies have not yet reduced employee salaries but some with less production capacity have had their working days cut to Tuesdays and Wednesdays only and their salaries reduced to 75 percent.
The union leader said he disagreed with adopting salary-cutting measures under the law as the problem is not caused by an economic crisis and car orders are still as high as 30,000 units.
The federation asked the government to help in paying workers as some companies cannot shoulder the burden.
Auto parts production of some companies in Japan has resumed. Yongyuth said workers should not worry as it is monitoring the situation and believes that it will ease by late October.