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Chalong Pier operator to quit contract

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Chalong Pier operator to quit contract | Thaiger

PHUKET CITY: Following allegations of not fulfilling obligations laid out in the concession offered by the Phuket Provincial Administration Organization (OrBorJor), Choke Aree Tour Co Ltd has asked to annul the contract to operate Chalong Pier.

At a meeting at the OrBorJor offices in Phuket City on July 3, OrBorJor President Paiboon Upatising said that Choke Aree received 300,000 baht a month to collect monthly berthing fees and to run the pier on the OrBorJor‘s behalf.

The contract stated that 25 staff would work at the pier from 6 am to midnight and that the fees would be collected daily, K. Paiboon said.

However, K. Paiboon alleged that OrBorJor officers had discovered that 25 staff had never been on duty at the pier and that some boats were paying a monthly fee of 2,000 baht instead of a daily fee of 100 baht.

K. Paiboon added that some of the people listed as staff were not living in Phuket, but rather in other provinces.

Lamphun Tangnoi, managing director of Chokaree Tour Co Ltd, explained that owners of boats berthed at the pier on a continuing monthly basis did not have receipts because they did not have to pay until the end of the month.

He went on to explain that the 25 staff worked in shifts and so were not all present at one time. “Paying salaries of 8,000 baht a month to staff makes it unreasonable to expect them to work 18 hours a day,” he said.

Regardless, K. Paiboon said that the contract had to be adhered to; otherwise the OrBorJor would be liable to answer to the Auditor General for any discrepancies.

As the concession will expire on September 30, K. Paiboon suggested that Choke Aree receive 40,000 baht less each month to operate the pier.

However, K. Lamphun said that a 40,000-baht reduction would not be viable, and that he would draft a letter asking the OrBorJor to mutually agree to end the contract on August 1.

“I told my staff to continue working at the pier if they were happy to do so, but I don’t know who will be the next contractor; or perhaps the OrBorJor will run it directly by themselves,” he later told the Gazette.

“It’s certainly not fair, but I’m trying to understand it,” he said.

 

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