BMTA to slash 4,000 jobs by 2018

May 26, 201610:20 am356 views
BMTA to slash 4,000 jobs by 2018
Commuters embark on a bus at Victory Monument. The cash-strapped Bangkok Mass Transit Authority (BMTA) is expected to lay off 4,000 employees, about one-third of its workforce, by 2018. (Photo by Seksan Rojanamethakul)

Money-losing Bangkok Mass Transit Authority (BMTA) plans to cut nearly a third of its workforce by 2018 as part of a rehabilitation plan focused on boosting revenue and improving profit margins.

ML Puntrik Smiti, permanent secretary for labour, said the job cuts comprised 3,000 bus conductors and 1,000 employees in other departments. The BMTA currently employs 12,869 people.

No details were released on how many of the cuts would come from layoffs, early retirements and attrition.

The state-owned bus operator would work with the Department of Labour Protection and Welfare and relevant agencies to provide occupational training and placement assistance for laid-off workers as well as compensation benefits.

ML Puntrik said the BMTA board will meet on Monday to work on the revised rehabilitation scheme and submit it to the State Enterprise Policy Office, which Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha will chair next month.

BMTA director Surachai Iamwachirasakul said earlier the company’ s rehab plan, prompted by losses in recent years, focused on cutting costs and increasing revenues. The BMTA generated revenue of about 500 million baht a month but spent some 900 million baht per month, he said.

The organisation expects to give a makeover to old buses and buy 489 natural gas-powered coaches by the end of the year. The plan also includes implementation of a new ticketing system that combines all the city’s public transport services, redesigning bus terminals to house new stores, and leasing retail space inside to vendors.

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