Thai Airways 'won't go on strike'

It will be business as usual for Thai Airways International on Monday with no strike planned, the national carrier's acting president insists.

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Chokechai Panyayong was responding on Friday to media reports that the THAI labour union planned to walk off the job in an attempt to force his ouster and that of chairman Ampon Kittiampon.

Thai Rath Online earlier on Friday quoted union president Damrong Waikanee as saying that members would take part in a "Shutdown TG" operation by not working from Monday onward.

The influential union is demanding the dismissal of Mr Chokechai and Mr Ampon because of their "lack of good governance", Mr Damrong was quoted as saying.

The staff did not want to see the national flag carrier sink any further and wanted to apologise to passengers if the walkout caused any flight delays or cancellations, he added.

Mr Damrong cited management's recent decision to sue four staff members, including himself, former union leader Jamsri Sukchokerat and two others, for leading the staff to demand a pay rise in January last year. The action in the Labour Court was going ahead despite an agreement that management would not take any legal actions against them, the union chief said.

Mr Chokechai quickly moved to quell the report, saying THAI employees in all departments were ready to work and serve passengers as usual, and that THAI offices would not be closed on Monday.

He also rebutted reports that some flights had been cut because of the current political unrest. Some foreign carriers have reduced services to Thailand because of lower demand for travel to the country.

Mr Chokechai said THAI adjusted its flights and timetables in accordance with market conditions.

The national carrier, he said, operates summer (late March to late October) and winter (late October to late March) timetables. The number of flights to certain destinations may change according to the seasons and has nothing to do with political unrest in the country, he added.

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