PAT chief resigns

Viroj Chongchansittho has resigned as director-general of the Port Authority of Thailand following a strike by port employees over an overtime dispute.

  • Published: 18/02/2013 at 06:30 PM
  • Newspaper section: breakingnews

The PAT boad on Monday approved the resignation of Mr Viroj, board chairman Khamronwit Thoopkrachang said.

Pol Lt-Gen Khamronwit said Mr Viroj verbally offerred to resign at today's meeting of the PAT board.

The board approved his resignation, which will take effect from April 1, and appointed Capt Itthichai Suphankul, PAT deputy director-general for human resources and finance, to be acting PAT director-general starting Feb 19.

The PAT board called a meeting Monday to consider the PAT labour union's request for Mr Viroj to resign for his alleged failure to compromise in an overtime dispute.

The protesting workers stopped working overtime on Friday, which delayed shipments from the port.

Pol Lt-Gen Khamronwit said Mr Viroj was required to submit an official resignation in 30 days. As he resigned voluntarily, Mr Viroj would not be entitled to compensation, he added.

Deputy Transport Minister Prasert Chanthornruangthong said he had acknowledged Mr Viroj's resignation.

He insisted that Mr Viroj did not resign under political pressure but because he did want to see conflict in the PAT.

Mr Prasert said he would report the issue to Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, who earlier had expressed concern that the strike by the PAT's labour union might affect freight shipments from the port.

Jare Meedanu, chairman of the PAT labour union, said he submitted the request for the board to terminate Mr Viroj's employment.

Related documents were attached to the request, outlining six reasons why Mr Viroj should quit, including abuse of power, neglecting to get rid of corruption, failure to comply with the board's line for negotiating with employees over an overtime dispute and interfering in the work of the labour union.

Meanwhile, Thongyu Khongkhan, chief adviser and executive of the Thai Federation on Logistics, issued a statement saying that corruption and extortion involving PAT employees had existed for more than 10 years.

The shipping operators filed complaints with Mr Viroj, who tried to solve the problem. This might have caused the union to pressure Mr Viroj to resign, he said.

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