4200 Existing THAI Airways Employees Fail Screening For New Contracts, Forced To Retire From Company

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THAI Airways is undergoing a massive staff reduction program that also included a re-assessment of existing employees for new contracts when the airlines restarts, however 4,250 of 13,554 employees failed the test.

Those who didn’t meet the (unspecified) requirements are forced to retire from the company or submit to an additional round of screening.

THAI has drastically reduced the amount of employees over the recent years which had peaked at 27,000 in 2008 and since then was on a steady downwards slope, reaching 21,232 in 2020 when the pandemic started.

Since then various cuts were performed that included early retirement and buyout packages for employees, most of which have yet to be performed/paid out. This left the company with 13,554 which were invited to apply for new contracts with much leaner conditions compare to the old days.

As the Bangkok Post reported only 9,304 of them passed the muster for a new contract, the remaining ~ 4,200 were found not to be suitable and will have to accept a retirement package.

A total of 4,000 Thai Airways International Plc (THAI) employees have failed a screening programme to keep their jobs and will have little option but to accept early retirement, according to a source at the airline.

The number was calculated from the 13,554 employees who applied to continue working for the company. They were screened and 9,304 passed, the source said.

That leaves about 4,000 employees who failed. However, they can either join the early retirement scheme of the airline or register for a second round of screening. …

The process divided the employees into three groups; those sailing through who will sign a new employment contract in the middle of this month; those who passed but wish to enter the early retirement programme; and those who failed.

Employees who passed and intend to continue working for the airline will be employed under new contracts effective from May 1.

Those who passed but wish to forfeit their places in favour of early retirement must apply for the scheme by the end of today and they will be not replaced.

Those in the so-called fah mai (New Sky) group who failed the screening can either accept the early retirement package or apply for a second round of screening. This is because some positions were left unfilled after the first round.

Applications for the second screening round open from Monday to Thursday next week. The screening will get under way from April 19-23 with the results announced on April 28.

The second screening is only for positions where there had been applicants though nobody was qualified to assume them. Some successful applicants had also declined the positions earlier. …

It’s unclear what this “screening process” entails and by what merits existing employees are deemed to be unsuitable for a new contract, after all there were all hired at some point.

Thai Airways hiring practices have long been controversial, mostly based on connections within the company or by having someone with political influence placing people into the company, allowing the number to swell to the 2008 peak of 27,193 employees in total. The company has now shed 2/3 of these.

It’ll be interesting to see how the company will cope with these reduced numbers both in terms of operational ability and their financial performance in the years to come once the airline returns to an active aviation market.

I asked a few of my friends who passed the new contracts and a flight attendant will still earn relaively well with an ~ 2000 Baht/month cut. They have received three year contracts.

Conclusion

THAI has really put the axe to their employee numbers which will make for a much leaner company in the future and no longer having every position occupied with twice as many people as actually needed.

All employees forced out of the company will receive a compensation package for severing ties with THAI Airways, however money is quickly spent and then these people have to find a new job in a rather difficult economic climate. There has also been barely any salary for the past year apart from a small minimum payment so many might have incurred debt since then.

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