TOT union seeks rejig of employment terms

TOT union seeks rejig of employment terms

TOT's labour union plans to petition the Digital Economy and Society Ministry on Friday to restructure the state telecom enterprise's employment system to ensure fair treatment of employees before it merges with CAT Telecom early next year.

The merger of the two state telecom enterprises into National Telecom (NT) is scheduled to be completed in January.

TOT union president Pongthiti Pongsilamanee said TOT has two different employment conditions for staff.

Those recruited before 2012 enjoy a high salary rate with handsome welfare, including medical coverage for family members. Some 10,853 employees are in this group.

Those recruited in 2012 or later had to pass an internship process before being accepted as TOT staff. Some 1,451 employees fall under this criteria.

The latter group has lower salary rates than people in the first group and their family members do not qualify to receive medical coverage benefits.

TOT also has 6,514 outsourced staff.

Mr Pongthiti said TOT needs to have unified rules for salary increase conditions and welfare benefits.

"This could encourage young staff to apply determined effort in their work," he said.

CAT, which has 4,814 staff, has a single employment formula. Another 874 staff are outsourced.

Mr Pongthiti said the average monthly salary for TOT staff is 61,000 baht and the state enterprise has to shoulder 800 million baht a month for this cost.

The average monthly salary for CAT staff is 60,000 baht, but CAT spends only 280 million baht a month on salaries.

Fixed costs for TOT's operation account for 48% of total revenue.

Mr Pongthiti said TOT now operates under a strict cost effectiveness policy in which there is no chance for outsourced staff to be made permanent employees.

A TOT source who requested anonymity said TOT is expected to face cost overruns in the long run, though now it relies on fee payment through partnership deals on spectrum ranges with private mobile operators.

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