Thai Airways board appointments spark protest

BANGKOK (AFP): Hundreds of aviation industry employees rallied today outside the headquarters of Thai Airways to protest the company’s new board of directors, which they say is rife with cronyism. Wearing symbolic black dress, workers from Thai Airways and Aeronautical Radio of Thailand surrounded a limousine carrying Deputy Transportation and Communication Minister Pracha Maleenond, who will chair a meeting of the company’s acting board scheduled for tomorrow. At the meeting, Pracha is expected to formally announce the airline’s new board members, whose names were earlier released to local media, amid accusations that he has chosen personal business associates for the posts. Pracha has also faced criticism that he has under-represented employees by leaving the airline’s president — seen as a representative of the workers – out of the board line-up. “It’s been unacceptable to the employees that the president – the position, not the person – is not included in the board. The president is the head of management; he should have a say on the board,” an employee spokesperson said. After surrounding Pracha’s car for about half an hour, representatives from the employee’s union let the minister out before handing him a petition and requesting a meeting with him. Pracha, who declined to speak to the protesters, went to Thai Airways’ headquarters to attend a ceremony honoring the airline’s pilots and the company’s 41st anniversary.

Phuket News
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