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THAI CEO warns air hostesses to remain politically neutral 

Jul 11. 2019
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By The Nation

Thai Airways International's chief executive Sumeth Damrongchaitham has stepped in to end an online feud between senior and junior THAI air hostesses stemming from Facebook posts by young flight attendants showing their selfies with Future Forward Party leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit.

With the feud heating up online Wednesday, Sumeth posted a video clip on his Facebook wall, warning all THAI staff to be careful about their communications on the social networks.

In his video message, Sumeth said THAI staff in uniform should remain politically neutral because they represent the organisation.

“Today, I have read news and I have seen messages on the social networks that affect the organisation and make me feel uneasy. I would like to seek cooperation from staff and remind them that we are a state enterprise and must maintain neutrality on all issues. THAI staff are regarded as representatives of the organisation. Whenever you are in uniform, wearing any symbol of THAI or are in the office or the workplace, always remember that you are representatives of the organisation,” Sumeth said.

The CEO stepped in after older and young THAI flight attendants exchanged heated criticism online following Facebook posts of a group of young Thai flight attendants showing their selfies with Thanathorn.

The Future Forward leader is popular among young voters while older members of the electorate seem to prefer junta chief General Prayut Chan-o-cha.

Flight attendants aboard THAI flight TG910 from Bangkok to London Heathrow posted photos of their selfies in groups and in pairs with Thanathorn aboard the flight when Thanathorn and his family flew to Europe.

“May I iron a T-shirt for Thanathorn? Just kidding. Thank you for flying with us,” one post said.

The posts drew both criticism and likes. Critics said the flight attendants behaved improperly because they were on duty but Thanathorn’s fans were happy and said they wished they could have posed for such photos.

Older flight attendants later joined the row, posting that the air hostesses had behaved improperly because they acted as if they were fans of Thanathorn. Not long after, the young flight attendants retaliated with comments that the older flight attendants used to act like they were fans of Suthep Thaugsuban, a leading member of right-leaning Action Coalition of Thailand Party when he led protests against the Yingluck government.

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