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July 11, 2007

Rising baht forces thousands from jobs
About 6,000 Thai industrial workers have abruptly become jobless after their garment factories in Samut Prakan province were shut down due to severe losses after the Thai baht appreciation.

Thailand's currency has appreciated by seven per cent since the beginning of this year, following a 12% gain last year.

Labour Minister Aphai Chanthanachulaka said the affected factory workers had gathered and occupied part of a road in front of the Thaisilp Akane Import and Export factory in Bang Pli area. The jobless protested against management following the shut-down of the export-bound garment factory.
Labour Protection and Welfare Department and Social Insurance Office officials asked the protesting workers to give way to road traffic and suggested that management pay 150 million baht in compensation to the jobless employees.

Meanwhile, the officials were told to look after industrial workers elsewhere and to closely follow the export industry which has been seriously damaged by the rising baht, and might eventually also be forced to go out of business as well. TNA

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