Watana business 'not closed'

Watana business 'not closed'

A firefighter surveys the fire damage to supplies and machinery at the Watana Footwear factory in Bang Phli district of Samut Prakan on Tuesday night. (Photo: Sutthiwit Chaiyutworakan)
A firefighter surveys the fire damage to supplies and machinery at the Watana Footwear factory in Bang Phli district of Samut Prakan on Tuesday night. (Photo: Sutthiwit Chaiyutworakan)

The owner of the burnt-down Watana Footwear Company building in Samut Prakan claims the business in not closed and staff will be paid this month.

Kitti Chongsatitwatana, who is also managing director of the company, dismissed reports saying the firm was closed and workers would be laid off as untrue.

Mr Kitti said talks about the company's closure might have stemmed from miscommunication.

"I've asked them [the workers] to go home because the factory had to close due to the fire," he said. "They will be paid this month as usual and we'll discuss the situation next month."

"Some might have thought the company was closing," Mr Kitti said.

He said the damage was being assessed while noting that if the business closes, workers will be paid in compliance with the labour protection law.

The fire erupted at the factory producing canvas shoes in Soi King Kaew 9/1, tambon Rachathewa in Bang Phli district on Tuesday night. No one was injured in the blaze.

About 20 fire crews from Rachathewa tambon administration organisation and nearby areas were dispatched to fight the blaze, which was finally brought under control about two hours later.

All supplies and machinery inside the factory were destroyed. The damage was estimated at 100 million baht.

The two-storey building was already well alight when firefighters arrived. The flames were fuelled by a large amount of highly inflammable glue and thinners stored on the premises.

Police were investigating the cause of the fire, which was initially put down to an electrical short-circuit in machinery. The provincial industrial office ordered the factory off-limits after the initial inspection.

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