Thailand could lose 300000 jobs in apparel industry

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Up to 300,000 workers could lose their jobs in the apparel industry if the baht continues its relentless strengthening against the dollar, industry sources warned on Friday.

Phongsak Assakul, president of the Thai Textile Manufacturing Association, has warned the government that Thailand’s apparel industry, which employs more than 1 million people in the weaving, garment and textile sectors, was heading for a “genuine crisis” unless something is done about the baht, reported the Bangkok Post.

Boosting by huge inflows of foreign investments in the local bourse, the baht currency has already appreciated 7 per cent against the greenback this year, on top of the 12 per cent appreciation in 2006.

Despite the appreciation, Thailand’s exports grew 18 per cent in the first five months of 2007, but economists have pointed out that this surge was essentially in exports of high-tech items such as electronic, electrical appliances and automobiles, which account for nearly 70 per cent of all exports but all of which have a high import content.

Thailand’s lower-tech export items such as garments and agricultural products are suffering from declining price competitiveness.

Thai Silp South East Asia Import Export Company, an exporters of sports wear, closed its doors on Tuesday, sparking a mass protest among its 5,000 employees.
The factory’s owners cited declining orders because of the high baht as their reason for closure, although they agreed on Thursday to reopen in the face of the mass protest by their laid-off workers.

The baht’s appreciation has merely added to Thailand’s uncompetitiveness in labour-intensive industries such as garments, experts say.
“The reality is that the factory (Thai Silp) closed because it failed to recognize that we can no longer depend on cheap labour to compete overseas,” said Finance Minister Chalongphob Sussankarn.

Garment exports have declined 5.7 per cent during the first five months of 2007, compared with the same period last year, said the Bangkok Post.

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Rising Thai baht forces thousands from jobs
CCTV, China – Jul 12, 2007
About 6000 Thai industrial workers have abruptly become jobless after their garment factories in central Thailand’s province of Samut Prakan were shut down

Thailand could lose 300000 jobs in apparel industry
Bangkok Post, Thailand – Jul 12, 2007
Up to 300000 labourers could lose their jobs in Thailand’s apparel industry if the baht currency continues to strengthen relentlessly against the dollar,

Thai Silp workers resume work
Bangkok Post, Thailand – Jul 12, 2007
(BangkokPost.com) – More than 3000 factory workers at Thai Silp South East Asia Import Export Co have returned to work on Friday morning after its owners

Factories to reopen after promises of help
Bangkok Post, Thailand – Jul 12, 2007
A clothes manufacturing company that abruptly shut down its factories this week leaving over 5000 employees jobless is set to resume production today after

Business as usual for Thai Silp on Friday
Bangkok Post, Thailand – Jul 12, 2007
(BangkokPost.com) – After what must have felt like an eternity, the prayers of Thai Silp Southeast Asia Import Export Co., Ltd. employees were finally

Fury over factory’s shock closure
Bangkok Post, Thailand – Jul 11, 2007
The shock closure of a textile factory sparked an uproar yesterday as the Garment Labour Federation accused the firm of relocating to a neighbouring country

THAILAND: Apparel industry may witness heavy job losses
BharatTextile.com (subscription), India – 6 hours ago
BANGKOK: As many as 300000 laborers can lose their jobs if the baht continues to appreciate against the US dollar, it is feared.

Premier orders watch on baht
Nation Multimedia, Thailand – 17 hours ago
Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont has asked the Finance Ministry and Bank of Thailand to report baht activity every Friday, while Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting

Workers: we’re Happy the Factory’s back to business
Nation Multimedia, Thailand – 22 hours ago
Garment manufacturer Thai Silp South East Asia Import Export reopened yesterday to the delight of nearly 5000 workers who thought they were out of a job

Thai Silp to reinstate 5000 staff
CSR Asia, China – Jul 13, 2007
Crisis-hit Thai Silp South East Asia Import Export will reopen after receiving financial backing from the Thai Textile Institute and will reinstate its

Garment factory resumes operations after reversing mass layoff
Thai News Agency MCOT, Thailand – Jul 12, 2007
SAMUT PRAKAN, July 13 (TNA) – After being laid off abruptly en masse on Wednesday, most employees at the Thai Silp South East Asia Import and Export factory

Thai Silp loss hits others
Nation Multimedia, Thailand – Jul 12, 2007
Four garment-makers in Tak have been affected by the abrupt shutdown of the Thai Silp South East Asia Import Export Company’s three clothing factories in

Thai Silp to reinstate 5000 staff
Nation Multimedia, Thailand – Jul 12, 2007
Crisis-hit garment manufacturer Thai Silp South East Asia Import Export will reopen today after receiving financial backing from the Thai Textile Institute

Editorial: Blaming stronger baht an easy out
Nation Multimedia, Thailand – Jul 12, 2007
The sudden closure on Wednesday of Thai Silp Southeast Asia Import Export, a sport-clothing manufacturer, which left almost 5000 of its employees jobless

THAILAND: 5000 jobs lost as sportswear factory shuts
just-style.com, UK – Jul 12, 2007
Around 5000 workers have lost their jobs after a sportswear manufacturer supplying Nike and Adidas shut down unexpectedly on Wednesday (11 July).

Garment factory cancels mass layoff, reopens
Thai News Agency MCOT, Thailand – Jul 12, 2007
SAMUT PRAKAN, July 12 (TNA) – Cancelling its previous announcement closing operations and dismissing its labour force, Thai Silp South East Asia Import and

Many factories likely to close due to baht surge, warns TCC
Thai News Agency MCOT, Thailand – Jul 12, 2007
BANGKOK, July 12 (TNA) – The continuing surge of the baht has negatively impacted exporters and might lead to a shutdown of many more small factories,

Thai Silp to reopen Friday
Nation Multimedia, Thailand – Jul 12, 2007
Thai Silp Arkhanay Import Export will resume its business on Friday and reinstate all of nearly 6000 workers it suddenly laid off on Wednesday.

TCC: strong baht will claim more victims
Nation Multimedia, Thailand – Jul 12, 2007
Thai Chamber of Commerce Chairman Pramon Suthivongse admitted that the strong baht has affected exporters and more small factories will be shut down.

Laid-off workers to be compensated; says employer
Thai News Agency MCOT, Thailand – Jul 11, 2007
BANGKOK, July 12 (TNA) – The owner of a suburban Bangkok garment factory has agreed to pay compensation to laid-off workers following Wednesday’s protest by

Thai Silp owners apologise
Nation Multimedia, Thailand – Jul 11, 2007
Pipat Unopas and his wife, Yawalak, owners of Thai Silp South East Asia Import Export Co Ltd, apologised to all workers who were out of job following the

5000 clothes-makers hit by factory closure
Nation Multimedia, Thailand – Jul 11, 2007
The sudden closure of a Samut Prakan clothing company with the loss of 4950 jobs will not have a spillover effect, according to the president of the Garment

Rising baht forces thousands from jobs
Thai News Agency MCOT, Thailand – Jul 11, 2007
BANGKOK, July 11 (TNA) – About 6000 Thai industrial workers have abruptly become jobless after their garment factories in Samut Prakan province were shut

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