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Hundreds shocked to find themselves out of a job

by qualityeducation
Workers arriving for the reopening of the Body Fashion (Thailand) factory in Muang district of Nakhon Sawan on Friday are shocked to see an announcement outside it with a list of more than 800 workers who have been laid-off. The factory remained closed. (Photo by Chalit Pumruang)

More than 1,000 people at two companies have lost their jobs due to the ailing economy.

In Nakhon Sawan, more than 800 workers received an unpleasant surprise when they arrived for work at a swimwear factory on Friday, but were instead greeted by a sign saying they had all been laid off because of the slump in sales caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The staff had turned up at the Body Fashion (Thailand) factory, a subsidiary of Triumph International, relieved to be going back to work after the factory had closed temporarily for three months.

Their smiles vanished as worry, then shock, set in as they read the sign. With it was a list of more than 800 workers who had lost their jobs.

The factory, in Muang district, had already laid off more than 2,000 workers, citing huge losses, and shut for three months. It was expected to reopen on Friday but remained closed.

The Bangkok Post interviewed staff and they expressed shock upon seeing the sign.

They did not want to be named but most understood the reasons for the three-month closure and the earlier staff cuts. They said they had stayed at home and searched for other work just to get by.

They were delighted to be finally returning to work on Friday, only for the sign to instantly put an end to their euphoria. Their representatives tried to contact company executives but there was no response, one worker said.

They later sought help from the Nakhon Sawan provincial labour protection and welfare office, where officials told them to complete the usual forms and wait for assistance.

Body Fashion produces swimwear, underwear and sportswear for brand names, including Triumph.

Meanwhile, 300 staff hired by the operator of a golf course in Chiang Mai also found themselves out of work on Friday when the air force’s Wing 41, the land owner, put up a notice that use of the land would be suspended from today.

Panwipa Krisdapong, executive of Star Dome Co which operates the golf course, said the company was initially awarded a contract to operate it from 2007 to 2037 and invested more than 200 million baht in the business.

She said the air force later changed the terms of the contract requiring it to be renewed every three years and for the fee to be raised by 5% each time. However, it then demanded a 500% fee increase in the latest contract talks.

The new notice declared that the deal allowing Star Dome to use the golf course expired on April 30 so the operator, its employers and customers were henceforth all banned from using it.

Ms Panwipa, however, said the company would fight for its rights.

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