Union urges Thai Airways to include its voice in rehab plan - Nikkei Asian Review

BANGKOK — A union of Thai Airways International workers is urging the company’s board to incorporate its opinions in the upcoming rehabilitation plan because workers’ cooperation will be critical for the national flag carrier to recover.

“We plan to create a proposal to make sure workers’ rights and benefits remain protected through the rehabilitation,” said Sorayuth Homsukhon, chairman of the Thai Airways International Workers’ Union (TGWU), in an exclusive interview with the Nikkei Asian Review.

TG is the airline’s code designated by the International Air Transport Association.

“Rehabilitation planners will not succeed, if they do not take employees at the operational level into account, or if they don’t take reasonable care of their employees,” wrote Yossayong Homasawin, vice chairman of the union, in a separate written interview.

On Monday, the Central Bankruptcy Court gave a verdict that allows Thai Airways to enter court-supervised rehabilitation after years of money-losing management and operations forced it to abandon self-resuscitation.

The court also endorsed a list of rehabilitation planners proposed by the airline, including the current board members and the consultancy EY Corporate Advisory Services. “We will be in negotiations with creditors this quarter, and a plan will be ready by the first quarter of next year,” said the airline’s acting president, Chansin Treenuchagron, after receiving the court decision.

Among the planners are former Justice Minister Pirapan Salirathavibhaga, who was an adviser to Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, and former Thai Airways President Piyasvasti Amranand, who made the airline briefly profitable during his term from 2009 to 2012. “In the list of planners, we have someone we can trust,” said Sorayuth, without naming who.

“The union should be involved in making the plan,