Triumph to lay off almost 2,000 workers
By THAWEEPORN KUMMETHA
Published on June 30, 2009
An announcement yesterday that 1,930 workers at Body Fashion (Thailand) will be laid off prompted more than 1,000 workers to stage a protest. The company is a subsidiary of Triumph International (Thailand), a leading manufacturer of Triumph-brand lingerie and swimwear.
In a statement, Body Fashion said the lay-offs were due to the global recession and a drop in consumer demand.
They will affect 1,930 workers, or 37 per cent of the company's sewing capacity at its Bang Phli plant in Samut Prakan province. They are also in line with Triumph International's global restructuring programme.
They will take effect on August 28.
Body Fashion (Thailand) general manager Kenneth Marshall insisted the lay-offs were due to economic conditions and the need to restructure the company's manufacturing process.
The company will no longer produce swimwear at the Bang Phli factory, relying instead on its other manufacturing plants for that.
Thai Garment Manufacturers Association president Dej Pathanasethpong said the garment industry could absorb all of those laid off, because manufacturers were facing a labour shortage.
"However, we'll have to monitor Triumph International's other manufacturing bases to see if they'll be implementing this same policy too," Dej said.
However, Jittra Chochadet, an adviser to the labour union at Triumph International (Thailand), yesterday insisted the company was still making good profits and not experiencing financial problems as claimed.
The company will pay the required compensation under the Labour Protection Act plus one month's salary.
"The reason regarding the company's financial problems is not true," she said while urging the company to disclose its financial documents.
Most of those to be laid-off are active union members who protested against Jittra's dismissal last year, when she was president of the labour union.
"The lay-offs are aimed at destroying the labour union, " said Jittra.
"That's absolutely not true," Marshall said in response to the allegation and again insisted the dismissals were purely economic.
The workers will continue protesting until the company offers a satisfactory explanation and better compensation.