As floodwaters reached Chon Buri's Amata Nakorn Industrial Estate yesterday, only two factories on the estate had been forced to shut down, and only for two days, the estate's chief of operations, Viboon Kromadit, said. He insisted flooding had not hit the estate's 200 factories and forced them to close, as some news reports claimed.
Meanwhile, the Stop Global Warming Association (SGWA) will today file a lawsuit with the Central Administrative Court seeking an urgent session and an injunction suspending the government's upcoming public forum over the Bt350-billion water- and flood-management scheme.
Viboon said surrounding areas of the two factories were under 10cm-deep floodwater, inconveniencing workers trying to get to work, but the estate's other 200 factories had not shut down. The estate covers 20,000 rai with 600 businesses and 400,000 workers. It was prepared for a flood emergency with fast-installing flood barriers and three water-pushing machines from the Royal Thai Navy.
The Labour Ministry yesterday launched a flood-victim assistance centre and said 11 establishments had been forced to temporarily close and 731 workers were affected. Acting permanent secretary for Labour Jeerasak Sukonthachart said 606 business establishments in Nakhon Nayok, Surin, Si Sa Ket, Ubon Ratchathani, Buri Ram, Chachoengsao and Chon Buri had been affected by floods.
Besides the 11 closed establishments, 439 workplaces involving 3,114 workers were indirectly hit by floods in surrounding areas and routes used by labourers to get to work. He said the ministry's inspector-general would visit flood-hit people in Nakhon Ratchasima's Phimai and Chum Phuang districts at the weekend.
They would also ask hospitals under the Social Security Office (SSO) network to treat SSO subscribers without charge while also asking employers to let workers have days off or arrive at work late until the situation was resolved.
They would also organise activities to help victims - such as repairing electric appliances and vehicles - to help people find jobs and to ask for employers' cooperation in not laying off workers, he added.
SGWA president Srisuwan Janya claimed the government's public forum did not comply with the Central Administrative Court's previous verdict, which ordered the government to conduct the public event and collect opinions over its mega water project.