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Chon Buri workers facing chop

The layoff of nearly 1,000 workers at a glass factory in Chon Buri has the Labour Ministry scrambling to ensure their protection after the unannounced closure of a garment factory in Samut Prakan this past week left thousands of workers stranded.

Published on July 15, 2007

Labour permanent secretary Juthathawat Inthornsuksri, who inspected the Laem Chabang Industrial Estate yesterday, said he was told that Siam Asahi Technoglass Co Ltd would let go nearly 1,000 workers by the end of the month.

He urged the company to observe the Labour Protection Act of 1998 and compensate the workers. The company replied it was ready to comply because it already had funds reserved for that.

Nearby factories were asked to absorb the excess workers.

Initially Siam Cement Group agreed to take about 100 of them.

The provincial employment office will set up a registration desk for the remaining job seekers on July 23 and 24.

Juthathawat said there should be no problems because there were nearly 2,000 positions available in the area.

He said the ministry's "five tigers" - the provincial employment, labour skill development, labour protection and welfare, social security and labour offices - would discuss preparations to assist workers made redundant due to the rising baht's pressure on businesses.

Juthathawat, who is president of the Social Security Office board, said he would table a request from employers to lower their co-payment for employees to the Social Security Fund at the board's meeting on Tuesday.

The employers are seeking relief from high personnel costs.

He said the employers might be allowed to postpone paying their share of employee contributions to the fund during these difficult times, as a first measure.

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