Thai Airways labour union asks Finance Ministry to probe airline’s operations

Corporate April 19, 2017 01:00

By THE NATION

The Thai Airways International labour union has appealed to the Finance Ministry to inspect the airline’s operations.



In a letter submitted by labour-union president Damrong Waiyakanee, inspection was requested for executives and some members of the THAI board of directors.

The union alleged that a lack of transparency in the airline’s operations had resulted in financial losses and damages to its corporate image.

In one case, it said, the THAI board resolved to approve the sales of 17 idle aircraft that still had about six to eight years remaining in their service lives. As a result, the company suffered losses of about Bt30 billion from from 2008-2016. And about Bt26 billion of that occurred between 2013 and 2016, the labour union claimed.

Noting that THAI had attributed its successful reforms for the company’s profit of about Bt47 million last year, the letter indicated that there were discrepancies between the board’s claimed successes and the reality.

THAI reported Bt685 million in foreign-exchange gains. However, its actual FX gain was about Bt72 million, while about Bt613 million was an estimate and had not yet occurred.

Another decision criticised by the union was the establishment of THAI Group comprising Thai Airways International, Thai Smile Airways and Nok Air for collaborative management. It suggested that Thai Smile be fully absorbed into THAI.

The labour union also claimed a lack of transparency in the recent nomination process for THAI president, believing that abuse of power and conflicts of interests could arise, or the procedure could be cancelled and the position of caretaker president extended. If that occurs, it could mean that the THAI board could fully interfere with management and cause damages to the company, the letter said.

The letter’s final point related to spending of Bt2.2 million per month to hire Charamporn Jotikasthira as an adviser, and appointing him as a member of the THAI strategy and transformation committee shortly after he retired from as company president. During his term as president, the company had suffered low operational success, the union claimed.