Thai lingerie maker lays off 753 workers over coronavirus downturn

BANGKOK, July 31 (Reuters) - A Thai lingerie producer, Body Fashion (Thailand), has laid off 753 workers after the novel coronavirus worsened its liquidity problems, a government official said on Friday.

Thailand’s economy has been hit hard by restrictions to contain the pandemic despite having gone for more than two months without a confirmed case of a local transmission.

“The company had liquidity problems before the coronavirus, but the pandemic compounded those issues so it laid off 753 employees on July 30 from a total of 915,” Anan Bawornaowarak, deputy director-general of the Department of Labour Protection and Welfare, told Reuters.

Calls to the company were not answered on Friday.

Thailand’s central bank has forecast Southeast Asia’s second-biggest economy will contract by a record 8.1% this year as the pandemic batters tourism and domestic activity, with up to 8 million jobs lost.

Anan said the company would not compensate workers because of issues involving company guidelines. Workers had submitted complaints to the department, which were be assessed, he said. (Reporting by Chayut Setboonsarng and Panarat Thepgumpanat Editng by Robert Birsel)