THAI union denies strike plan

The president of the labour union of Thai Airways International (THAI) denies acknowledgement of any plan by its crew members to go on strike today to demand the ouster of the chairman and the acting president of the national airline.

THAI executives confirmed all staff would continue with their jobs and they would not go on strike on Monday.

Labour union president Damrong Waikhanee said there were leaflets issued about a planned work stoppage today but the union had nothing to do with the plan and that he was among those who was given a leaflet.

However, according to Mr Damrong, the movement to protest against the THAI management only involves him in relation to the management's lawsuit against him and three other THAI staff members for leading a rally to demand a salary hike on Jan 18 and 19 last year.

THAI management filed the lawsuit but there is an agreement that it will not take any action against staff members who raised the issue of the demands.

The source of the strike leaflets is unclear. Mr Damrong said he believed they came from THAI staff who could not tolerate injustice in their organisation.

The content of the leaflets echoed the labour union's demand for the ouster of THAI chairman Ampon Kittiampon and acting THAI president Chokchai Panyayong, the labour union leader said.

Mr Damrong also said THAI management had filed a lawsuit against leaders of the labour union in order to discourage staff from examining the performance of the airline.

Mr Chokchai told the Bangkok Post THAI shareholders had sent a written complaint against previous strikes, the management then investigated it and found that the work stoppages damaged the airline, so management filed a lawsuit with the Civil Court last month.

Regarding the reported planned strike today, Mr Chokchai said many passengers were concerned and inquired about the matter.

"There were reports that THAI staff planned to wear black or pilots would go on strike but people inside the organisation did not respond. I believe that most staff love the organisation and understand the situation of THAI," Mr Chokchai said.

The THAI public relations department also stated yesterday that all THAI staff would provide services to customers as usual today.

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