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Thai Airways staff balk at cuts in perks and benefits

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  • The Labour Ministry will invite the management of Thai Airways International for talks over a complaint submitted on Friday to the ministry by the airline’s labour union over unreasonable cuts in work benefits, especially healthcare welfare.
  • Nares Puengyaem, the president of Thai Airway’s labour union, together with two representatives of State Enterprises Workers’ Relations Confederation , yesterday submitted to the permanent secretary for labour, a letter complaining about reduced work benefits.
  • Despite “good cooperation” by the airline’s employees to comply with the company’s policy to slash salaries and other types of money paid to them by between 10% and 50%, effective last Monday, management had gone too far in its bid to tighten the belt by cutting several work benefits, particularly health welfare..
  • In the past Thai Airways employees received medical care services at contracted hospitals.

But now, they are being asked to first pay for their medical bills out of their own pockets and later apply for reimbursement.

“This came as a huge financial burden to many Thai Airways’ employees.”

“These employees are left with no other choice when it comes to accessing medical care as they are still unable to immediately switch to either the universal healthcare scheme or the social security system’s healthcare program.”

Now the national airline has become a private company, albeit majority owned by the Thai government and institutions, many employees have been unsuccessful in switching to these two healthcare schemes because of some technical problems.

“The cancellation of a shuttle service for staff working the graveyard shift has also resulted in security being compromised for many female staff travelling on their own at odd hours and a massive rise in their travel costs.”

This is especially true for airline staff working at airports located a distance from city areas such as Phuket airport.

Araya Kaeo-pradap, one of the SERC representatives, said these problems “should have been settled through dialogue”, which she had not observed.

In a separate development, Thai Lion Air and Thai AirAsia X (the international offshoot of Thai Air Asia) have both asked to suspend their flights for another month, according to a source city comments from the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand.

Both the majority Thai-owned airlines had previously been allowed to suspend flights from March until the end of June.

Meanwhile, the national flag carrier is negotiating with regulators in 3 countries to protect its assets, including aircraft, from being seized by creditors. The Thai cabinet was informed about the filing of debt rehabilitation requests in foreign countries by Deputy PM Wissanu Krea-ngam, who chairs the committee tasked with coordinating a solution to the airline’s problems, last week.

The airline has petitioned courts in Switzerland, Germany and Japan, and submitted a similar request in the US, where its creditors are based. The petitions, if approved, will protect the company against its aircraft being impounded overseas.

 

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Avatar

    Ivo Kennis

    Sunday, June 21, 2020 at 11:24 pm

    When can i fly again from Brusselse to Bangkok ?
    I fly many Times whit your verry good company.

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Governments & old media versus social media – who will win? | VIDEO

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Governments & old media versus social media – who will win? | VIDEO | The Thaiger

We look at the recent changes made by the Australian and Indian governments to except control over the world’s biggest social media platforms. India has issued strict new rules for Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms just weeks after the Indian government attempted to pressure Twitter to take down social media accounts it deemed, well, anti social. There is now an open battle between the rise of social media platforms and the governments and ‘old’ media that have been able to maintain a certain level of control over the ‘message’ for the last century. Who will win?

The rules require any social media company to create three roles within India… a “compliance officer” who ensures they follow local laws; a “grievance officer” who addresses complaints from Indian social media users; and a “contact person” who can actually be contacted by lawyers and other aggrieved Indian parties… 24/7.

The democratisation of the news model, with social media as its catalyst, will continue to baffle traditional media and governments who used to enjoy a level of control over what stories get told. The battles of Google and Facebook, with the governments of India and Australia will be followed in plenty of other countries as well.

At the root of all discussions will be the difference between what governments THINK social media is all about and the reality about how quickly the media landscape has changed. You’ll get to read about it first, on a social media platform… probably on the screen you’re watching this news story right now.

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The social media giants in battle with ‘old’ media and world governments | VIDEO

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The social media giants in battle with ‘old’ media and world governments | VIDEO | The Thaiger

“The rules signal greater willingness by countries around the world to rein in big tech firms such as Google, Facebook and Twitter that the governments fear have become too powerful with little accountability.”

India has issued strict new rules for Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms just weeks after the Indian government attempted to pressure Twitter to take down social media accounts it deemed, well, anti social.

The rules require any social media company to create three roles within India… a “compliance officer” who ensures they follow local laws; a “grievance officer” who addresses complaints from Indian social media users; and a “contact person” who can actually be contacted by lawyers and other aggrieved Indian parties… 24/7.

The companies are also being made to publish a compliance report each month with details about how many complaints they’ve received and the action they took.

They’ll also be required to remove ‘some’ types of content including “full or partial nudity,” any “sexual act” or “impersonations including morphed images”

The democratisation of the news model, with social media as its catalyst, will continue to baffle traditional media and governments who used to enjoy a level of control over what stories get told.

The battles of Google and Facebook, with the governments of India and Australia will be followed in plenty of other countries as well.

At the root of all discussions will be the difference between what governments THINK social media is all about and the reality about how quickly the media landscape has changed. You’ll get to read about it first, on a social media platform… probably on the screen you’re watching this news story right now.

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Turbulence ahead for Thailand’s aviation industry | VIDEO

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Turbulence ahead for Thailand’s aviation industry | VIDEO | The Thaiger

When the airlines, in particular, were asking the government to put their hands in their pockets for some relief funding in August last year, it was genuinely thought that international tourists would be coming back for the high season in December and January. At the very least local tourists and expats would head back to the skies over the traditional holiday break. And surely the Chinese would be back for Chinese New Year?

As we know now, none of that happened. A resurge in cases started just south of Bangkok on December 20 last year, just before Christmas, kicking off another round of restrictions, pretty much killing off any possibility of a high season ‘bump’ for the tourist industry. Airlines slashed flights from their schedule, and hotels, which had dusted off their reception desks for the surge of tourists, shut their doors again.

Domestically, the hotel business saw 6 million room nights in the government’s latest stimulus campaign fully redeemed. But the air ticket quota of 2 million seats still has over 1.3 million seats unused. Local tourists mostly skipped flights and opted for destinations within driving distance of their homes.

As for international tourism… well that still seems months or years away, even now.

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