Santi steps down

Santi Vilassakdanont, who was chosen to lead the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) in an unusual meeting held last month in defiance of chairman Payungsak Chartsutthipol, resigned yesterday.

His move will likely ease the conflicts within Thailand's biggest business group.

Mr Santi's resignation letter said the move will pave the way for talks.

Citing Mr Payungsak's failure to lobby the government for a delay of the nationwide daily minimum wage hike to 300 baht, 139 of 182 committee members present at last month's meeting voted to remove Mr Payungsak as chairman. There are 348 committee members total.

FTI vice-chairman Thanit Sorat said Mr Payungsak should also resign so a new election could take place.

An FTI statement said 39 industries and 10 provincial councils support Mr Payungsak.