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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs     9 November  2011

Some workers return to work

Twenty-five factories hit by floods in Ayutthaya have re-employed more than 33,000 workers after floodwaters started to subside.

The situation in the province has gradually improved, particularly at several industrial estates where floodwaters have receded, Labour Protection and Welfare Department chief Arthit Ismo said.

Now, a total of 25 affected factories have restarted production and taken back 33,892 workers, he added.

Manufacturing operators in Ayutthaya province have recently notified the department that they would re-employ their workers, totaling about 280,000, the director-general said.
In Bangkok, the flooding has affected 6,474 businesses, with 109,602 employees losing their jobs.

He said the floods have eased in many provinces, with the number affected being reduced from 32 to 14. A total of 20,526 businesses with 819,147 workers in the 14 provinces, mostly in the Central Plains, were affected.

Representatives from the International Labour Organisation (ILO) recently met with the department to discuss assistance measures for flood-hit workers.

The ILO expressed concern over the plight of employees of small-size enterprises and proposed that measures be taken to help workers stay in the workforce, Mr Arthit said.

Labour Minister Padermchai Sasomsap said the cabinet yesterday approved the ministry's two measures to ease unemployment.

The first measure is that the ministry will pay 2,000 baht (US$67) a month to workers of flood-affected factories for three months. A budget of some 600 million baht is required to pay 100,000 workers.

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It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

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