The Danish shoemaker Ecco´s factory in the Saha Rattananakorn Industrial Estate in Ayutthaya is closed due to flooded buildings. The capacity at the Ayutthaya plant was seven milllion pair of shoes in 2010.
All machines for shoe production are submerged and the shoemaker will need at least three months to import new machines to replace damaged ones, according to Bangkok Post.
ScandAsia was today, October 12 2011, talking to ECCO about the situation.
”Our factory has now been flooded for about a week now and it is too early to estimate how much money this will cost the company”, says Michael Hauge Sorensen, Executive Vice President at ECCO who added that the cost will be significant but not a problem for a financial sound company as ECCO.
Mr. Michael Hauge Sorensen told ScandAsia that all efforts right now are addressed to helping the ECCO staff and to relocate the production to other manufactoring units.
”The vast majority of our staff, which in total are a little less than 5000 people, are living within 40 km from our factory and this area is all flooded to some extend. At the moment around 1200 of our staff are homeless”, says the Executive Vice President.
ECCO has established an office in order to coordinate both the rehousing of the homeless staff and the aid providing food, clothes and blankets.
”We are rehousing into rented rooms and apartments or to take care of transport to family members in non-flooded areas”, says Mr. Sorensen.
The company also has bought boats to pick up people in the most flooded areas, around 250 people are picked up by now. Some of the people – around 100 people – has made the decision to stay in their flooded houses to take care of their proberty; these people are receiving food provided by ECCO.
”We will continue helping our staff as long as needed with rehousing, food and clothing. And a great deal of our staf fare in need of cash why we offer an advance on their salary”, says the Executive Vice President adding, ”all staff will get their salary as long as the factory is closed”.