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Floods: Japanese factory workers

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720 Japanese companies affected by the flood crisis, 450 in industrial estates, 75% of wages paid by law, 2,000 workers to Japan for 6 months. 

Nava Nakorn Industrial Estate

Photo above of the flooded Nava Nakorn Industrial Estate, below of factory workers evacuating the factory area with their families before electricity was cut at dark.

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5,000 lose jobs, 20,000 firms affected by Penchan Charoensuthipan


worker evacuation nava nakornMore than 5,000 people have lost their jobs because of the flood crisis.

Athit Ismo, the director-general of the Labour Ministry's Department of Labour Protection and Welfare, said more than 20,000 companies employing over 790,000 people in 16 provinces had been hit by floods.

Flooded firms have laid off more than 5,300 employees, including workers in Bangkok and Nonthaburi, said Mr Athit.

Floodwater has not yet reached Bangchan Industrial Estate in Bangkok's Min Buri district.

About 60% of factories in the estate are operational while the rest have halted production.

The industrial estate was prepared to prevent floodwater from entering it, said Mr Athit.

In the meantime, 10 Japanese companies with flooded production facilities in Thailand plan to send around 2,000 Thai workers to Japan to work there temporarily, said permanent secretary for labour Somkiat Chayasriwong.

More than 720 Japanese companies in Thailand have been affected by the flood crisis. Among them, 450 companies are in industrial estates.

Mr Otaka told Mr Somkiat that small-and medium-sized Japanese firms that have suffered from the floods might fold if they have to stay closed for a long time. Affected Japanese firms have been paying their employees 75% of their wages in accordance with labour law.

Mr Somkiat has met Masato Otaka, the Japanese embassy's economic minister. He said Mr Otaka had expressed his concern about the fate of Japanese companies hit by flooding.

Mr Otaka insisted Japanese firms have not yet laid off workers. However, if they had to halt operations and earned no revenue for a lengthy period, employees might eventually lose their jobs, Mr Somkiat quoted him as saying.

Smaller firms did not have much money to shoulder losses for a long time.

Mr Otaka wanted the government to provide a rehabilitation package for those enterprises, said the permanent secretary.

Some of the larger Japanese firms planned to send their workers to Japan. The move would enable their Thai workers to earn wages, and also help their Japanese employers increase productivity during the flooding crisis.

Ten Japanese firms sought permission from the Japanese government recently to send 2,000 Thai employees to work temporarily in Japan for six months.

(Source: Bangkok Post, 5,000 lose jobs, 20,000 firms affected, 5/11/2011, Penchan Charoensuthipan, link)

Labour-Management Relations During Times of Crisis Vocabulary 

crisis - an urgent, difficult or dangerous situation วิกฤต วิกฤตการณ์
flood crisis - an urgent, difficult or dangerous situation created by floods

industrial estate -
a special area or zone for factories, "usually located outside the main residential area of a city and normally provided with good transportation access, including road and rail. Industrial parks are usually located close to transport facilities, especially where more than one transport modes coincide: highways, railroads, airports, and ports," also called "industrial park" (See Wikipedia)

evacuate - leaving a dangerous to go to a place of safety

lay off - when people lose their job because there is no more work left for them to do (and become unemployed)
laid off - past tense of "lay off"

insisted - say firmly that something is true or must happen (is certain about it, even though some might not believe it)
insisted Japanese firms have not yet laid off workers

operational
- working; able to be used; able to work normally ที่สามารถใช้งานได้
operational factories -
factories that are working normally and producing goods
factories are operational  

halt
- to stop, stop operations of a business or other activity หยุด หยุดนิ่ง
halt operations - stop doing business, stop business operations

halted - stopped
halted production - when a company's factory stopped producing goods

facilities - the buildings, equipment and services provided for a certain activity (for example, athletics facilities) สิ่งอำนวยความสะดวก สถานที่และสิ่งอำนวยความสะดวก
production facilities - factories
flooded production facilities - flooded factories

10 Japanese companies with flooded production facilities in Thailand plan to send around 2,000 Thai workers to Japan to work there temporarily

temporarily - only for a limited time; not permanent ชั่วคราว
permanent - happening or existing for a long time or for all time in the future ถาวร
work temporarily in Japan for six months

fold -
go out of business (when a company stops doing business because it does not have the money of resources needed to continue)
small-and medium-sized Japanese firms that have suffered from the floods might fold if they have to stay closed for a long time

wages - the amount of money earned per hour by a worker

in accordance with - following, obeying (doing what they are told to do in a law or rules) 
in accordance with labour law
Japanese firms have been paying their employees 75% of their wages in accordance with labour law.

concern - a worry ความกังวล
fate - the things that happen to someone, especially unpleasant things ชะตากรรม
expressed his concern about the fate of Japanese companies hit by flooding.

eventually - at the end of a period of time or at the end of a process ในที่สุด
might eventually lose their jobs - after a period of time may lose jobs (if business situation does not improve)

revenue - income from taxes or business activities รายได้

if they had to halt operations and earned no revenue for a lengthy period, employees might eventually lose their jobs

shoulder - to deal with or accept something difficult แบกรับภาระ หรือสถานการณ์
shoulder losses - be able to accept losses and continue in business (have enough money to keep business going during a period of time when it is not earning any money)

smaller firms did not have much money to shoulder losses for a long time.

rehabilitation - the process of repairing something and bringing it back to good condition again after suffering damage, injury or harm (bring back to good condition, make acceptable and suitable for use again, improve condition so that it can operate again) การฟื้นฟูสภาพกิจการ; การทำให้กลับสู่สภาพเดิม, การทำให้กลับมาดีเหมือนเดิม

rehabilitation package - government spending projects to being something back to good condition (after a disaster or crsis, for example)

enterprises
- companies
enable - to make someone able to do something, or to make something possible ทำให้เป็นไปได้
enable their Thai workers to earn wages - help their Thai workers earn money

employers
- companies that hire workers
productivity - producing more for the same amount of resources (labour, capital, machines), workers producing more goods in the same amount of time

help their Japanese employers
increase productivity during the flooding crisis.

permission
- allowing someone to do something การอนุญาต,การอนุมัติ,การยินยอม
sought permission from the Japanese government

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