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|19-01-2013, 04:28 PM||#1 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jul 2009
Suvarnabhumi Airport: THAI Airways strike delays flights
THAI strike delays flights | Bangkok Post: news
THAI strike delays flights
The strike began on Friday in protest against the THAI board's decision to pay a 2012 bonus of just one month's salary and to limit salary increases to 4%.
THAI labour union president Jamsri Sukchoterat insisted on Saturday that the ground staff would continue their strike until THAI chairman Ampon Kittiampon complied with their demands.
The union wants a two-month bonus and a maximum salary increase of 7.5%.
A ground staff worker welcomes the first Thai Airways Airbus A380 when it arrived at Suvarnabhumi airport in June last year. (Bloomberg Photo)
THAI president Sorajak Kasemsuvan said on Friday that the airline's net profit for 2012 was expected to exceed its estimate by 700 million baht. He declined to elaborate pending a formal report to the Stock Exchange of Thailand later this month.
In the first nine months of 2012, THAI earned a net profit of 3.86 billion baht, compared with a net loss of 4.8 billion in the same period in 2100.
It was reported that several flights of the national carrier and other airlines had been delayed since Saturday morning because all THAI ground staff stopped working to join the protest.
Transport Minister Chatchart Sithipan said on Saturday that he had ordered Mr Sorajak to immediately hold talks with the striking ground staff.
Mr Chatchart warned that if the strike affected passengers and flights at the airport, stringent penalties would be imposed against the strikers.
It was reported that some flights were delayed by about 10-15 minutes from normal schedules.
Mr Ampon said he had directed management to rapidly provide explanations to the ground staff about how THAI intended to divide its net profits.
The profits are to be divided into three parts. The first part will be for paying bonuses to staff, the second for dividends to shareholders, and the third will be for business expansion, he added.
Mr Sorajak cautioned on Friday that the airline had to be careful with currency management this year given the rapid appreciation of the baht in recent months. The national carrier earns about 70% of its revenue in foreign currencies, mainly dollars.
He said the healthy results in 2012 reflected a high cabin factor of 76.6%, the highest in five years, helped by a worldwide marketing drive. The airline's revenue target this year was 223 billion baht, representing 11% growth, he added.
Airports of Thailand, meanwhile, said on Saturday said the main cause of flight delays was not the strike, but bad weather overseas.
Passengers planning to travel can get flight updates by calling THAI at 02-356-1111.
"Slavery is the daughter of darkness; an ignorant people is the blind instrument of its own destruction; ambition and intrigue take advantage of the credulity and inexperience of men who have no political, economic or civil knowledge. They mistake pure illusion for reality, license for freedom, treason for patriotism, vengeance for justice."-Simón Bolívar
|19-01-2013, 04:32 PM||#2 (permalink)|
I am in Jail
Last Online: Yesterday 06:22 PM
Join Date: Jan 2012
|19-01-2013, 04:39 PM||#3 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jul 2009
In other Thai Airways news........
THAI keeps watch on baht | Bangkok Post: news
THAI keeps watch on baht
Speaking after a THAI board meeting, Mr Sorajak said the currency management team will be established as the airline was concerned about the rapid appreciation of baht.
THAI executives had been instructed to keep a close watch on the baht because up to 70% of the airline's earnings are in foreign currencies, he added.
"THAI has recently been affected by the baht movement, but we cannot say how much," Mr Sorajak said. "We are following the situation closely."
According to the company president, THAI engages in transactions in about 50 currencies. The airline, however, attaches importance specifically to the Japanese yen, the US dollar, the euro and the British pound.
Mr Sorajak said the airline had bought currency forward contracts to avert exchange rate risk.
Mr Sorajak said THAI's cabin factor reached 76.6% in 2012, the highest in five years. This was the result of a worldwide marketing drive, he said.
THAI's net profit last year is expected to exceed its estimate by 700 million baht, Mr Sorajak said.
He declined to give the actual net profit number, saying it will be revealed after the airline has officially informed the Office of the Securities and Exchange Commission about the figure.
Mr Sorajak said the airline's revenue target this year is 223 billion baht, with 11% growth.
Deputy Transport Minister Prin Suwanatat yesterday urged THAI to solve the problem of staff shortages, particularly with ground personnel.
The company needs adequate manpower to prevent disruptions to its service, Gen Prin said.
|19-01-2013, 04:41 PM||#4 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jul 2009
MCOT English News @MCOT_Eng
Thai Airways employees rally for higher pay; Transport Minister vows action against protesting workers if demonstration affects service
30 flights reportedly delayed following THAI unionists' protest - The Nation
30 flights reportedly delayed following THAI unionists' protest
January 19, 2013 12:08 pm
Employees of the Thai Airways International (THAI) continued their protest at the Suvarnabhumi International Airport for the second day Saturday to demand more bonus and higher pay increase.
The THAI workers led by the union demanded that the THAI board give them two-month bonus instead of one month and 7.5 per cent pay increase instead of 4 per cent.
Channel 3 reported that the second day of protest caused some 30 flights of THAI to be delayed as some luggage boarding staffs stopped working or refused to work over time.
|19-01-2013, 06:13 PM||#7 (permalink)|
Last Online: Yesterday 11:53 PM
Join Date: Oct 2008
Aside all this, I'm surprised that Thai Airways [Int'l & Domestic] still has the wherewithal to be in business, considering their practice of doing business.
Like many carriers, they [realistically] work in the red - sustenance coming from government subsidies, [worthless] stock dividends, and a large credit base.
|20-01-2013, 10:04 AM||#10 (permalink)|
Days Work Done!
Last Online: Yesterday 06:54 PM
Join Date: Oct 2007
Thai Air is and has been mismanaged for years. As mentioned earlier, they would have gone bankrupt years ago were it not for government subsidies.
The solution they've taken is to raise prices and make feeble attempts to cut costs by addressing labor cost only. Takes a far broader approach than that if they have any hope of competing in the ever increasing competitive air travel market.
Suppose like many "national" airlines the tax payer will have to subsidize indefinitely to retain national pride.
|20-01-2013, 04:44 PM||#11 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jul 2009
Aviation | Bangkok Post: news
THAI to decide staff's demands Feb 8
Mr Sorajak was detailing the latest development after about 400 ground staff of the airline called off their strike over their demands on Sunday morning. The protest disrupted dozens of flights on Saturday, including international ones.
The THAI president's remark contrasted with a claim by Jaemsri Sukchoterat, the THAI labour union chairwoman who led the strike, on Sunday that the board of directors and the staff had reached a mutual agreement.
Under the agreement, the staff would get the 7.5% salary increase while the bonus payment would be based on the performance of THAI. The board would put up the result of the company’s operation spublicly and explain to the staff about its operation, she said.
Mr Sorajak said the board of directors would consider on Feb 8 whether to increase staff salaries by 7.5% and the bonus from one month to two months.
In principle, he said, the 7.5% increase is only for staff whose salaries range between 7,000 and 30,000 baht per months. The number of staff in this category constitutes 30% of the airline's entire workforce. Executive-level staff who already enjoy high pay are not entitled to the increase.
Transport Minister Chadchat Sittipunt said the same as Mr Sorajak on the salary increase and bonus demands.
He said he had asked Mr Sorajak to find out whether the strike during the past two days could be taken as a neglect of duty on the part of any staff or caused any inconvenience to THAI passengers.
The staff's demands would have to be considered and decided by the board of directors chaired by Ampon Kitti-ampon. Many factors would be raised for consideration and the demands might not be fully met, Mr Chadchat said.
Basically, a one-month bonus requires about one billion baht ofr about 200,000 staff, he added.
Mr Chadchat said he had ordered executives of state enterprises under the Transport Ministry, including the State Railway of Thailand (SRT), Bangkok Mass Transit Authority (BMTA) and Mass Rapid Transit Authority (MRTA), to lay down an emergency plan to cope with a strike similar to the one carried out by the THAI labour union.
This is to avoid disruption of passenger services because in principle the passengers cannot be taken as hostages, he said.
He said he would coordinate with the armed forces to get help from soldiers in an emergency.
The THAI executives had been ordered to investigate whether any staff had neglected their duty, causing the delay of 32 flights.
|22-01-2013, 04:28 PM||#12 (permalink)|
Join Date: Aug 2007
THAI to pay $16m incentive to staff
22 January 2013
Thai Airways (THAI) chairman president Sorajak Kasemsuvan has agreed to pay an incentive of US$16.82 million to staff, THAI labour union chairwoman Jaemsri Sukchoterat said, reported the Bangkok Post.
On Saturday, about 400 THAI ground staff went on strike, demanding an increased bonus, from one month's salary to two months, and a larger pay rise, from four to 7.5 percent.
The airline eventually agreed to raise staff salaries by 7.5 percent but did not comply with the union's increased bonus demand.
Their work stoppage caused delays of 15 to 20 minutes of at least 30 THAI flights, both domestic and international.
"Keeping quiet while monks and other peaceful protesters are murdered and jailed is not evidence of constructive engagement." - Arvind Ganesan, Human Rights Watch.
"I think...I think it's in my basement. Let me go upstairs and check" - M.C. Escher
|23-01-2013, 09:57 AM||#13 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jul 2009
Airline union threatens more strikes | Bangkok Post: news
Union hands THAI chief list of demands
Workers vow further strike if calls not heeded
If the demands are not discussed or met at THAI's next board meeting on Feb 8, the union will have to decide on further action, said Jaemsri Sukchoterat, the union's chairwoman.
The meeting follows a one-day strike by about 400 THAI ground service staff at Suvarnabhumi airport on Saturday. The stoppage delayed dozens of flights and affected hundreds of passengers.
The union said Mr Ampon should consider his future after confusing THAI staff with information concerning THAI's income and performance.
She said Mr Ampon had told staff that THAI posted a profit of 7 billion baht. The information had arrived from him before it was reported to the Stock Exchange of Thailand, she said.
Ms Jaemsri said that later Mr Ampon said airline management would pay a one-month bonus and boost staff salaries by 4%.
His announcement created confusion among staff, who were aggrieved by what they considered to be a poor offer which they say Mr Ampon was not in a position to make, as the board had not yet approved it. "The union doesn't want to [directly] press Mr Ampon to resign but he should know what to do," she said.
The union also urged him to stop telling the public that if THAI staff at levels 1-7 are to receive a 7.5% pay rise as demanded by the union, the executives would have to lose out on their own pay hike, said Ms Jaemsri.
Performance-based special bonuses also should be increased from 200 million baht to 500 million baht, she said.
Mr Ampon didn't respond to the union's proposals at the meeting.
He only said he would forward the union's message to the THAI board at its Feb 8 meeting.
However, in separate interview later yesterday, Mr Ampon said the union did not urge him to consider what he should do or to resign.
"Why should I re-think what I should do? I haven't done anything wrong. I did my job the best way I could so that the company could pay bonuses this year," he said.
Ms Jaemsri said if the board refuses to take the demands seriously, the union's committee would have to decide whether to stage another strike.
THAI made a profit last year but a significant amount of the money had been wasted on non-essential things or spent unwisely by the board, which was unacceptable to the staff, she said.
As for the performance bonus request, Ms Jaemsri said the union wanted the board to raise the extra money from the budget set aside for advertising and public relations.
This budget was prone to abuse, she said.
In 2011, the budget for performance bonuses was 100 million baht, but certain staff members were paid only 300 baht to 400 baht which was unfair, she said. Meanwhile, certain executives enjoyed a far larger portion of this budget, Ms Jaemsri said.
Transport Minister Chadchat Sittipunt, meanwhile, said THAI would have to formulate an emergency plan in the event of another strike.
A sufficient number of staff should be on hand to work immediately if another strike as called, he said.
He said he would also see whether the Royal Thai Air Force could step in to provide cover in case Suvarnabhumi flight operations are affected again.
Mr Chadchat said the strike violated regulations and resulted in significant losses to THAI. Some of the staff involved must be punished according to the company's rules, he said.
How (not) to run an airline | Bangkok Post: opinion
How (not) to run an airline
The workers claimed they were underpaid, in salary and bonuses. The airline executives claimed there was no legitimate complaint. The unpleasant and overriding fact is the airline mishandled the entire problem.
Arguably, no one was as wrong as Transport Minister Chadchat Sittipunt. While passengers fumed, and planes were delayed, Mr Chadchat claimed THAI workers were "damaging the airline but also the country's image". This was the wrong statement, made at the wrong time. If the minister had strong evidence the flight delays and baggage chaos were entirely the fault of airline workers, he failed to present it. In any case, it was hardly the time to defiantly begin finger-pointing.
Mr Chadchat was inadvertently correct about one point. The Suvarnabhumi problems reflect poorly upon the country, especially Thai Airways International, Suvarnabhumi airport and the government. Bangkok International Airport has been a serial offender against dependable air travel for the past year. While Mr Chadchat has been minister and deputy minister, Suvarnabhumi has had blackouts, communications outages, baggage problems and highly publicised smuggling busts.
The minister and allied executives at THAI were quick off the mark to blame the latest ill-service at Suvarnabhumi on the airline's union. They were correct that sit-down labour action by THAI workers caused slowdowns that rippled into flight delays and long lines at the baggage carousels. Workers took advantage, and used travellers in their labour action _ give us a pay rise or the slowdown continues. But the minister, officials and airline executives, starting with Mr Sorajak, need to examine their own roles more critically.
First and most importantly, the demands for a modest pay rise did not suddenly and surprisingly come out of the blue last Friday, when the labour action began. It was quickly clear the airline has not talked in good faith to the unions. Even on Saturday night, after a second day of airport disturbances, airline spokesmen were clear in their statements to the media and public _ no pay rise, no increased bonus. Hours later, they backed down.
No doubt the THAI labour union put airline executives over a barrel with the sudden strike action. But the biggest failure was by THAI executives and the board of directors. Their shock at the rolling walkouts on Friday and Saturday said clearly they had no idea that their own workers were so angry over pay and perks.
THAI has long been known as a workplace where morale among workers is almost as low as its pay scale among top world airlines. The reputation of THAI among foreign and domestic travellers has sunk steadily for two decades.
Mr Sorajak was brought in from MCOT Pcl just three months ago to head THAI after a mild scandal involving the last office-holder. His promise was to make the airline profitable again. That is an excellent goal. He must take a close look at how he intends to achieve it, after workers make it clear they also want to be part of the success.
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