Ayutthaya flooding forces thousands of workers out of work

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AYUTTHAYA, Nov 24 – Almost four thousand workers lost their jobs at flood-wrecked plants in this historic former capital, according to the Ayutthaya provincial labour chief.

Wannarat Srisuksa, chief of the Ayutthaya labour protection and welfare office, on Thursday said so far 14 companies have laid off 3,787 workers after experiencing the most severe flooding in decades.

But the companies are paying overall compensation of Bt91 million (slightly over US$3 million) to the unemployed.

In addition, he said, the unemployed are entitled to receive payments from Social Security Fund at 50 per cent of their salaries for six months.

The unemployment is considered statistically low in comparison with a total of 5,000 businesses in Ayutthaya which hires some 300,000 workers altogether, the senior government official said.

The Labour Ministry has notified those who have been made redundant that there are 50,000 job offers available at other businesses which survived the flooding.

Workers at flood-ravaged businesses yet to resume production can register with the provincial labour protection and welfare office to seek a government subsidy to pay a portion of their monthly salary on the condition that the employers pay at least 75 per cent of their employees’ salary.

Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) Vice President Tanit Sorat told a seminar on the post-flood Thai economic outlook Wednesday that 9,895 plants in eight provinces have been flooded, affecting 660,000 workers.