New staff contracts draw THAI labour union's ire

New staff contracts draw THAI labour union's ire

The Thai Airways International Plc (THAI) labour union is seeking clarification on whether the airline complied with its debt-restructuring plan by changing the terms of employment of its staff.

The union has targeted Chansin Treenuchagron, the airline's acting president, for his role in signing orders governing the company's restructuring and its new employment contracts.

The union has petitioned the Department of Labour Protection and Welfare (DLPW) to decide if the orders were consistent with the debt-restructuring plan submitted to the Central Bankruptcy Court.

The labour union has argued that changes to employment contracts were unfair to employees because they stripped away some important entitlements and welfare benefits.

Six people represent the airline's rehab planner team. They are ACM Chaiyapruk Didyasarin, chairman of the board; Chakkrit Parapuntakul, second vice chairman; Prapan Salirathavibhaga, an independent director; Boontuck Wungcharoen, an independent director; Piyasvasti Amranand, an independent director; and Mr Chansin himself.

Apart from the directors, the rehab team also includes EY Corporate Advisory Services Co.

The team submitted the rehab plan to creditors on March 2.

On Monday, the union said in a statement that it was "curious" about orders Mr Chansin signed which may go against the rehab plan being looked at by the creditors. The orders include one dated Feb 18 pertaining to the new organisational structure of the company.

The other orders have to do with the screening of employees who will continue to work for the airline through the rehab and in the restructured firm.

The union added the orders also spell out new terms of employment as well as welfare benefits of staff, which have been under fire for being watered down and unfair.

The question put forth by the union was whether the changes were specifically permissible under the 1940 Bankruptcy Act, the 1975 Labour Relations Act and the 1998 Labour Protection Act.

If the DLPW finds that Mr Chansin had issued the orders in violation of the acts, the agency should release an administrative order for the acting THAI president to nullify the changes and make the terms of employment and other contractual details compliant with the rehabilitation plan and related laws, according to the labour union.

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