6 June 2024

Employees of Bangkok Mass Transit System Public Company (BTSC), the operator of Green Line sky train service, have threatened to go on strike if the government fails to respond to their demand for the settlement of 50 billion baht owed to the company by Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) within seven days.

Seksak Hoonsa-ard, a representative of the BTSC staff, said today (Tuesday) that they will submit their demand to Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha at Government House today.

He insists that the protest by the staff is on their own initiative and has nothing to do with the management.

BTSC has been embroiled in lawsuits with BMA and its investment arm, Krungthep Thanakom, over unpaid operating fees, which have ballooned to about 50 billion baht.

Recently, the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) faulted former Bangkok Governor M.R. Sukhumbhand Paribatra and 12 others, including BTSC director Keeree Kanjanapas, for violating the public private partnership laws in favour of BTSC.

According to the NACC, BTSC was awarded a 190 billion baht concession contract to operate two extensions of the BTS sky train, from On Nut to Baring and from Taksin to Wongwian Yai. BTSC also had its concession contract to operate sky train services between Mor Chit and On Nut and between the National Stadium and Taksin extended to 2042, to coincide with the expiry of the two extension concessions.

Seksak said that the Administrative Court has ordered the BMA and Krungthep Thanakom to pay BTSC, but the two have appealed the verdict to the Supreme Administrative Court.

He said that BTSC staff are concerned that the company may face financial problems if settlement of the outstanding debt continues to be postponed.