The intense rains in Thailand has flooded the factory of the Danish shoe brand ECCO in Ayutthaya north of Bangkok. The water is now two meters deep inside the factory since the water yesterday broke through the dikes that protected the factory through previous years of “normal” flooding and both the ECCO Shoes tannery and shoe factory are closed indefinitely.
“The situation is quite serious for the whole area and we are concerned with the situation of our nearly 5,000 employees whose homes and families are at risk because of the floods,” says Michael Hauge Sorensen, Deputy Managing Director of ECCO.
Management at the plant is doing its utmost to help employees with food, blankets and shelter. But because of the floods, it is hard work, and much of the supplies has to be transported by small boats.
“Together with the local authorities we try to get an overview of the situation, and we try to support our employees and their families as best we can,” says Michael Hauge Sorensen.
The CSR Club of the ECCO factory helped last year in October 2010 victims of the severe flooding in areas nearby which was hit by what was then the worst flood in Thailand for the past 50 years. The staff helped over 2000 families in the affected areas with food, water and medicine.
ECCO expects to start major repairs in the factory when the flooding disappears again.
“We are also working hard to ensure that the disruption will get a minimal impact on our customers,” says Michael Hauge Sorensen.
The tannery and shoe factory in Ayutthaya located 100 km north of Bangkok, are two of ECCO’s eight manufacturing units. The others are located in Pichit further north in Thailand, and in China, Indonesia, Slovakia and the Netherlands.