The board of directors of Thailand’s national flag carrier Thai Airways International (THAI) on Monday terminated the employment contract of President Piyasvasti Amranand, a decision which stirred outrage among the company’s labour union members.

The THAI board resolved with 12 out of 13 members voting to end the employment contract of Mr Piyasvasti, effective next month and that he will be compensated with six months of his current salary, altogether estimated at Bt6 million. Citing communication problems as the main reason to sack Mr Piyasvasti, board chairman Ampon Kittiampon explained that the panel made its decision although Mr Piyasvasti had passed his performance assessment with a high score.

“The communications problem between the board and the president could result in failure to achieve the company’s target of Bt7 billion profit as earlier announced to shareholders,”

Mr Ampon said.

Board chairman Ampon reasserted that the contract termination is not politically motivated as seven of 12 board members who voted to end the employment contract were appointed by the previous government.

The board named Executive Vice President Strategy & Business Development Chokchai Panyayong acting president, replacing Mr Piyasvasti, and quickly established a committee to select a new president, headed by Ministry of Finance Permanent Secretary Areepong Poocha-um, within three months.

Monday’s board decision reportedly sparked dissatisfaction among the airline’s labour union members. When the decision was announced, union members quickly asked for the reasons of such a decision. Security was tightened during the board’s news conference. Mr Piyasvasti, 59, began his term as Thai Airways International president in October 2009. Read More

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