The credit crunch has shown its presence once again as Japanese camera manufacturer Nikon has announced it is laying off 1,500 of its subcontracting staff in Thailand

The staff were based in the Ayutthaya province of the country, and were let go following a slump in orders from the US, Canada and Japan, a knock-on effect of the global financial crisis.

Apparently all the workers made redundant are under subcontracts and have been working for Nikon for less than a year. They have all been promised severance pay from Nikon, something that has been confirmed by Pongthai Musikapong of the Labour Protection and Welfare Office in Ayutthaya.

Prasit Sitidet, Nikon's labour union chairman, has said he would be calling on the Labour Ministry in Thailand to help find work for those who have lost their jobs.

However, it seems that many of the workers have complained that they had not been informed in advance of the lay-offs, and showed concern that subcontracting staff with years of experience would be the next victims, to be followed by permanent staff.

Nikon currently has 8,000 permanent staff and 4,000 subcontracting staff across four factories in Thailand.