Friday, November 27, 2020

Amazon pulls out of bid for cafe at Thammasat, as disabled staff could lose jobs

Oct 03. 2020
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By The Nation

PTT Oil and Retail Business (PTTOR), the operator of Cafe Amazon coffee shops, has decided to opt out of the concession it could reportedly obtain to operate the cafe at Thammasat University's Faculty of Law at Tha Prachan campus in Bangkok.

In a Facebook post on Saturday, PTTOR said it made the decision to withdraw after learning from reports that current concession holder Yimsoo Cafe, which provides employment to people with disability, might have to lay off staff if its concession was not renewed.

PTTOR added that Cafe Amazon was yet to be informed officially by the faculty as to which bidder it had decided to award the concession. Cafe Amazon believes in offering equal job opportunities to all people, the FB post added.

Earlier Wiriya Namsiripongpun, the president of Universal Foundation for Persons with Disabilities, posted on his Facebook that Yimsoo Café, founded by him and located at the Faculty of Law, would have to close its business in November. The closure would cost disabled staff working at the cafe their jobs, he added.

He said the faculty had decided to grant the concession to a big company. He said he was sad that the efforts to create jobs for the disabled had been lost to big investors.

Later, the faculty made a statement that it had decided to grant the concession to Cafe Amazon, as it had got higher scores than Yimsoo, according to its selection panel's evaluation.

According to the statement, Yimsoo's concession ended in the middle of this year but the faculty has allowed the cafe to continue the service until November. The faculty started inviting bids in August when there were two contenders, Yimsoo and Cafe Amazon.

Then it set up a selection panel to evaluate their criteria from business process to food, cleanliness and service. It added that the selection process was the same as the one used in 2018 when it granted the concession to Yimsoo.

The faculty added that the panel realised the possible impact on the disabled staff at Yimsoo. It asked if Cafe Amazon would recruit these staff if it were granted the concession. Cafe Amazon said it would do so if selected.

As of now, the panel is still to propose the final selection result to the faculty's dean for approval. It added that the dean was yet to make any final decision on the result.

The faculty has already informally told Yimsoo about the selection result and informed it that in case it was not selected, it could continue operation until November 30.

The faculty added that the selection process was done on a transparent basis. It would also try all means to help the affected disabled staff at Yimsoo to have a chance to work with the new operator in case Yimsoo's concession was not renewed.

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