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Flood unemployment

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Moving to Eastern Seaboard or Korat may be only choice for some Ayutthaya workers who lost jobs during floods. Over age 30 may mean no job anywhere for them. 

job boards

Photo above of workers from Rojana Industrial Park looking at job listings yesterday (Photo by Nanchanok Wongsamuth).

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Economics

Picking up roots

Laid-off workers from Rojana Industrial Park factories are facing the prospect of relocating outside of Ayutthaya if they want to find a job
Nanchanok Wongsamuth

'Have you ever seen a ghost town?" asked 30-year-old Komsan Krutjaikla.

"Well then, have you ever been to Rojana?" he continued when I could not say yes, referring to Ayutthaya's industrial park where 8-10% of its 213 factories are expected to relocate or close and some 70% of the companies are Japanese-owned.

Mr Komsan, formerly a senior pre-process engineer at AGC Electronics (Thailand) Co, is one of many desperate workers who were laid off by their companies in the wake of last year's flood crisis.

The factory closed down and eventually laid off all 4,000 workers, giving notice only last week.

Although Mr Komsan lives in Ayutthaya with his wife, he says 80% of his hopes lie in neighbouring provinces.

"But if I still cannot find a job [in Ayutthaya or a surrounding province], then I'll have to try the Eastern Seaboard, where many vacant positions for engineers can be found. If all seems well after a year, then I could sell off everything in Ayutthaya and move there permanently," he said

There's really no choice. If I can find a company willing to give me a chance, then I really must jump at the offer.

But others such as 38-year-old Jamrus Inthong are facing even tougher times. He and his wife were both laid off from Lapis Semiconductor Co in Rojana Industrial Park.

"I have debts and need to pay off my house. My child needs looking after. If I cannot get a job, then I'll have to try to start my own business," he said.

Unemployed workers due to flooding were attending a jobs fair hosted by the Japanese Chamber of Commerce in Bangkok and the Japan External Trade Organisation (Jetro) in cooperation with the Thai Labour Ministry. 

"But a common complaint was that almost all companies at the fair were only looking for staff up to age 30 or maybe 35 and even then not for high-level positions."

Another ex-Lapis employee, 30-year-old Surat Luadlai, said the company closed down but has not sold the land despite offers from another company

"I suspect they'll reopen and employ new workers [at lower wages]," he said, adding that some companies, after promising to pay 75% of wages until July, ended up laying off their staff instead.

"I don't care any more about which province I go to, and I believe those who are really desperate think the same way. No one here wants to work outside Ayutthaya, but how can we survive if we stay here? We have a less than 50% chance of finding work here," Mr Surat added

Vicha Sritunyaruth, the administrative manager at Sima Technology Co in Nakhon Ratchasima's Pak Thong Chai district, said his company needs more than 1,000 production workers and technicians aged 18-40. 

Nikon relocated to Nakhon Ratchasima and wants Sima to serve as an original-equipment manufacturer, he said, adding that other firms including Canon have moved to the province.

Labour Minister Padermchai Sasomsap said the massive flooding caused 66 factories to halt production temporarily, with 20,699 workers laid off.

The Ayutthaya Provincial Employment Office said 23,129 workers had registered as unemployed between Oct 17 and Wednesday of last week.

Jetro president Setsuo Iuchi said while companies cannot yet resume operations, demand for labour is increasing in the central, eastern and southeastern parts of the country, as most Japanese firms have expressed a strong commitment to further local investment.

A total of 100 Japanese companies offering 11,536 job vacancies unaffected by the flooding participated in yesterday's job fair, mostly in the automotive and electronics sectors.

The largest number of vacancies were found at Auto Alliance (Thailand) Co in Rayong, Isuzu Motors (Thailand) Co in Samut Prakan and Jatco (Thailand) Co in Chon Buri, each of them looking for more than 1,000 more workers.

Japan is the top investor in Thailand, with Board of Investment figures showing 543 projects worth a combined 188 billion baht last year, up by 82% from 2010.

(Source: Bangkok Post, Economics, Picking up roots, Laid-off workers from Rojana Industrial Park factories are facing the prospect of relocating outside of Ayutthaya if they want to find a job, Nanchanok Wongsamuth, link

Unemployment and Job Search Vocabulary

roots - your home and family (where you come from, like the roots of a plant or flower)
picking up roots - changing the place where you live and going somewhere else to start your life (not easy to do)

laid-off - lose job (because of no work at the factory, not because of something bad that you did)

industrial park - a special area for factories outside of town a bit, with the special things that factories need such as transportation, water, electricity, waste disposal, etc (See Wikipedia)

relocate - move to another location ย้ายไปตั้งอีกที่หนึ่ง

prospect -
the possibility of some event happening
face prospect of - the possibility that some event might happen to you
facing prospect of relocating - the possibility that you may have to move to another place (to work and live)

Laid-off workers from Rojana Industrial Park factories are facing the prospect of relocating outside of Ayutthaya if they want to find a job


ghost town - a town without any people anymore, everyone left the town so buildings are all empty, like haunted by ghosts (See Wikipedia)

'Have you ever seen a ghost town?" asked 30-year-old Komsan Krutjaikla.

expected - believe will happen คาดว่า (จะเกิดขึ้น)

"Well then, have you ever been to Rojana?" he continued when I could not say yes, referring to Ayutthaya's industrial park where 8-10% of its 213 factories are expected to relocate or close and some 70% of the companies are Japanese-owned.

process - a series of actions that you take in order to achieve a result แนวทางปฏิบัติ, กระบวน, วิธีการ
desperate - very worried or confused because you do not know how to deal with an unpleasant or dangerous situation อย่างสิ้นหวัง อย่างหมดหวัง
desperate workers - workers with a big problem (that they are having difficulty solving)

crisis
- an urgent, difficult or dangerous situation วิกฤตการณ์ วิกฤต
flood crisis
last year's flood crisis

in the wake of -
happening after (a big and bad event)
in the wake of last year's flood crisis

Mr Komsan, formerly a senior pre-process engineer at AGC Electronics (Thailand) Co, is one of many desperate workers who were laid off by their companies in the wake of last year's flood crisis.

eventually - at the end of a period of time or at the end of a process ในที่สุด
notice - information or warning หมายเตือ
giving notice - telling a worker that they do not have a job anymore

The factory closed down and eventually laid off all 4,000 workers, giving notice only last week. Although Mr Komsan lives in Ayutthaya with his wife, he says 80% of his hopes lie in neighbouring provinces.

surrounding - all around a place บริเวณรอบๆ
surrounding province  

find job in Ayutthaya or a surrounding province

Eastern Seaboard -
the area south of Bangkok past Chonburi, Pattaya to Rayong with many factories

vacant
- empty ที่ว่างลง
vacant positions - jobs at a company without a worker (so company is hiring worker to do job)

permanently - for all time in the future อย่างเป็นการถาวร
move there permanently

But if I still cannot find a job [in Ayutthaya or a surrounding province], then I'll have to try the Eastern Seaboard, where many vacant positions for engineers can be found. If all seems well after a year, then I could sell off everything in Ayutthaya and move there permanently.

there's no choice - they must do it (only one choice possible, limited or no options)
give me a chance - give me an opportunity
jump at the offer - take the offer immediately (not wait around for something better)

There's really no choice. If I can find a company willing to give me a chance, then I really must jump at the offer.

pay off house - pay their home loan back to the bank
look after child - do all the things needed to give child a good life (food, clothing, home, school, doctor, etc)

But others such as 38-year-old Jamrus Inthong are facing even tougher times. He and his wife were both laid off from Lapis Semiconductor Co in Rojana Industrial Park. "I have debts and need to pay off my house. My child needs looking after. If I cannot get a job, then I'll have to try to start my own business," he said.

unemployed - not having a job
unemployed workers - workers that do not have a job
cooperation - working together to achieve a result that will benefit all sides ความร่วมมือ, การทำงานร่วมกัน

Unemployed
workers due to flooding were attending a jobs fair hosted by the Japanese Chamber of Commerce in Bangkok and the Japan External Trade Organisation (Jetro) in cooperation with the Thai Labour Ministry. 

common - seen often; happens often; happens frequently
complaint - when someone says that something is wrong or not satisfactory การร้องเรียน
common complaint - a complaint that happens often

staff - workers, employees พนักงาน
employee - someone who is paid regularly to work for a person or an organisation ลูกจ้าง
company closed down - company stopped doing business, went out of business

"But a common complaint was that almost all companies at the fair were only looking for staff up to age 30 or maybe 35 and even then not for high-level positions." Another ex-Lapis employee, 30-year-old Surat Luadlai, said the company closed down but has not sold the land despite offers from another company.

suspect - to believe that something is true, especially something bad สงสัย
employ - to have someone work or do a job for you and pay them for it ว่าจ้าง, จ้าง
wages - the amount of money earned per hour by a worker

"I suspect they'll reopen and employ new workers [at lower wages]," he said, adding that some companies, after promising to pay 75% of wages until July, ended up laying off their staff instead.

survive - to continue to exist and live; to manage to deal with something difficult or unpleasant, in this case, to continue to pay for living expenses without a job รอดไปได้ รอดชีวิต รอดพ้น อยู่รอด สืบต่อไปได้ มีชีวิตรอด

I don't care any more about which province I go to, and I believe those who are really desperate think the same way. No one here wants to work outside Ayutthaya, but how can we survive if we stay here? We have a less than 50% chance of finding work here.

relocated - moved to a new place
original-equipment manufacturer (OEM) - a company that produces goods for another company that sells them under their brand and name (See Wikipedia)

Vicha Sritunyaruth, the administrative manager at Sima Technology Co in Nakhon Ratchasima's Pak Thong Chai district, said his company needs more than 1,000 production workers and technicians aged 18-40. Nikon relocated to Nakhon Ratchasima and wants Sima to serve as an original-equipment manufacturer, he said, adding that other firms including Canon have moved to the province.

massive - very large in size, amount or numberใหญ่โต มหาศาล
massive flooding - big floods

halt - a stop หยุดนิ่ง  หยุด
temporarily - only for a limited time; not permanent ชั่วคราว
halt production temporarily - stop producing goods in the factory for a period of time (start again at some time in the future)

Labour Minister Padermchai Sasomsap said the massive flooding caused 66 factories to halt production temporarily, with 20,699 workers laid off.

registered - officially recorded with the government
unemployed - people who have lost their job and are actively looking for a new job (See Wikipedia)
registered as unemployed  

The Ayutthaya Provincial Employment Office said 23,129 workers had registered as unemployed between Oct 17 and Wednesday of last week.

resume - start again; to begin again after stopping for a period of time ดำเนินต่อไปใหม่, กลับมาอีกครั้ง (ธุรกิจ) ที่ฟื้นตัวอีกครั้ง
resume operations

demand - the need and desire to buy goods and services by households and businesses
demand for labour is increasing in the central, eastern and southeastern parts of the country

local - in this country (here: Thailand)
local investment - investment in this country

commitment - a promise to do something in the future ข้อสัญญา
commitment to further local investment - promise to invest in the future

strong commitment - a strong promise
express a strong commitment
firms have expressed a strong commitment to further local investment

local - in or related to the area that you live, or to the particular area that you are talking about ท้องถิ่น
investment - taking your money and putting it into projects to make a profit or earn interest (buying stock shares, bonds, real estate)

Jetro president Setsuo Iuchi said while companies cannot yet resume operations, demand for labour is increasing in the central, eastern and southeastern parts of the country, as most Japanese firms have expressed a strong commitment to further local investment.

vacancies - vacant positions, new jobs that a company is hiring workers for

A total of 100 Japanese companies offering 11,536 job vacancies unaffected by the flooding participated in yesterday's job fair, mostly in the automotive and electronics sectors. The largest number of vacancies were found at Auto Alliance (Thailand) Co in Rayong, Isuzu Motors (Thailand) Co in Samut Prakan and Jatco (Thailand) Co in Chon Buri, each of them looking for more than 1,000 more workers.

investor - a person or organisation that puts money into a company in exchange for  future profit นักลงทุน
figures - statistics, numbers describing the economy

Japan is the top investor in Thailand, with Board of Investment figures showing 543 projects worth a combined 188 billion baht last year, up by 82% from 2010

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