Prove that you deserve rewards
I fully support Transport Minister Chadchat Sittipunt, who lambasted striking THAI staff for being inconsiderate, saying, "They are putting their own interest before the organisation's interest," disrupting dozens of flights and leaving hundreds of passengers stranded. The strikers demanded a two-month bonus and a 7.5-per-cent pay rise instead of a one-month bonus and a salary hike of 4 per cent.
Compensation is strictly a matter between employee and employer, and staff has no legal or moral right to hold passengers hostage to their demands. What if, say, the pilots, baggage handlers, stewardesses, etc, took turns striking until their compensation demands were met? THAI would have such outrageous labour costs that it would quickly go out of business.
THAI labour-union chairwoman Jaemsri Sukchoterat is wrong when she says the work stoppage did not damage the company. Just ask any of the thousands of passengers who were stranded or whose flights were disrupted. She says, "We were demanding what we deserved." If that's so, ma'am, back it up with figures showing that staff productivity increased by what you are demanding (7.5 per cent over last year) and that output in excess of target was double that of last year - and hence deserving of a double bonus.
THAI, if you want to remain a state enterprise, show that you deserve it by serving the country first, not your own private interests.
If THAI's staff tries another stunt like going on strike, carry through with Minister Chadchat's plan to utilise military personnel and other state enterprises responsible for public services to replace the strikers - on a permanent basis - and the same goes for other national enterprises like the State Railways of Thailand.