Govt urged to help laid-off Wingspan workers

Govt urged to help laid-off Wingspan workers

Laid-off workers from Wingspan  Services, led by the State Enterprises Workers' Relations Confederation, seek help from the government over alleged unfair employment termination. (Photo by Chanat Katanyu)
Laid-off workers from Wingspan Services, led by the State Enterprises Workers' Relations Confederation, seek help from the government over alleged unfair employment termination. (Photo by Chanat Katanyu)

The State Enterprises Workers' Relations Confederation (SERC) has urged the government to secure financial assistance for the almost 2,600 workers laid off by Wingspan Services, a subsidiary of Thai Airways International (THAI).

About 150 former Wingspan workers and SERC secretary-general Savit Kaewwan handed a complaint letter to Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha through Suporn Atthawong, vice minister to the PM's Office, on Thursday. 

The letter stated that Wingspan had sacked 2,598 employees, effective on Sept 1, after THAI suspended its flights since the end of March because of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The airline has suffered staggering losses, which have had a direct knock-on effect on Wingspan which provides personnel recruitment services for THAI.

Wingspan, which employed 3,320 people, suspended employment of its staff on April 1. The company recently announced its decision to lay off 2,598 workers effective Sept 1. 

According to the complaint submitted to the prime minister, Wingspan was unable to pay severance to the workers made redundant within a period of time stipulated by the law. 

The company promised to pay the employees in instalments over one year. The payments would be made when the company's liquidity improves, said the letter. 

However, the employees said the delay in payments is taking a financial toll on their families. 

The SERC has asked the government to find a way to deliver prompt assistance to the laid-off workers and to press the company to comply with the law by disbursing the severance payments urgently. 

The company also needs to submit the names of its former employees to the Social Security Office so they can access social security welfare.


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