Battling FTI factions both say they want to help
The feuding parties in the Federation of Thai Industries have tried to resolve their differences so that the FTI can lobby more strongly against government policies, particularly its campaign to improve wages.
"We need only one committee to work together to solve the labour-wage problem," FTI chairman Payungsak Chartsutipol said in an interview with CU Radio yesterday.
The rival faction including secretary-general Tanit Sorat and others are still members of the board. They can join with the board to operate the FTI, especially regarding the urgent problems of its small and medium-sized member companies, he said.
However, Tanit and his group did not join the committee meeting, so some of its vice chairmen have to change their responsibilities to cover work that the rebels were no longer doing.
"We welcome all of FTI's board to meet and try to find a way to help SMEs solve their problems from the nationwide increase in the daily minimum wage," he said.
The FTI will join with the Thai Chamber of Commerce and Thai Bankers Association in the Joint Public-Private Standing Committee on Industry, Banking and Commerce to find a way to help the SMEs.
"We will try to push the government to launch new measures to help the SMEs again after the meeting of the Joint Standing Committee," he said.
Tanit told CU Radio on Tuesday that the way to solve the conflict in the FTI was for the chairman to create an opportunity for the rival factions to discuss the problem.
"The main problem is that the FTI chairman wasn't interested in finding measures to help SMEs before the minimum daily wage was increased to Bt300 nationwide," he said.
The FTI chairman did not take serious action against the wage increase because he believed that it would have little impact on SMEs and tried to say they had to improve their production efficiency and manage their costs by themselves, Tanit said.
But now, the new Bt300 wage has directly hit SMEs' financial results, he claimed. Some of them have had to shut down and some have had to lay off staff.
"If the FTI needs to take action to help SMEs, the FTI chairman has to discuss with us how to solve the conflict in the FTI and join together to solve the labour problem," he said.
The way to end the conflict in the FTI is to discuss what the problem is and how to solve it. In particular, the chairman has to take serious action to propose ways to help SMEs stay in business, Tanit said.