THAI offers leave, early retirement

THAI offers leave, early retirement

Thai Airways International (THAI) has announced it is planning to furlough more workers and offer early retirement to its staff to trim its workforce, as it attempts to make what is left in its cash reserves last until April next year.

The flag carrier's acting president, Chansin Treenuchagron, said about 80% of THAI's 19,000 employees have cooperated with the company by voluntarily cutting their salaries or by taking unpaid leave, saying their cooperation will enable the company to last until December.

However, he said, revenues from other sources won't be enough to keep the company afloat next year, especially given the pandemic has yet to show signs of subsiding.

On Oct 9, THAI held a meeting to inform staff of various developments, including the company's rehabilitation process, its current financial status, the progress of the company's debt settlement and its new early retirement and furlough policies.

Some employees were willing to leave the company before their retirement, on the condition that they are suitably compensated.

It is not known how many will be eligible for the offer.

THAI workers' union members wore black to the meeting to protest against the recent promotion of several executives as the company struggles to stay in business -- one of which was a spouse of the chairman of the THAI board of directors.

The company has spoken to the workers' union, which Mr Chansin said seemed receptive to the proposal.

THAI employees who wish to participate in the next round of early retirement can submit their applications between Oct 15-30.

Those who are approved for early retirement will receive severance pay of two to 14.33 months according to the law, plus other benefits from the company. The furlough programme will be effective from Nov 1-April 30.

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