Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Sacked RAC staff hit out at treatment



Sacked RAC staff hit out at treatment

Sacked RAC staff hit out at treatment

A BOUT 200 Royal Air Cambodge (RAC) employees - 40 per cent of its staff - have

been transferred to the air force in the first major shakeup of the fledgling

airline.

The move, met with anger by those transferred, led to a spate of

vandalism and looting of RAC property at Pochentong Airport.

Company

officials say police are investigating to find the culprits.

Meanwhile,

some of the 200 transferred staff - who were given six months' salary as

compensation - are complaining about their treatment.

A group of them

told the Post that of the 200, only about 30 have been given positions in the

air force. Others have resigned, while the remainder have been told to check in

at the Pochentong air force base every morning and night and wait to see whether

they get jobs.

The disgruntled group criticized RAC management of

"patronage".

"Most of the remaining staff at RAC [belong to] the clans of

some government officials," said one.

"[The restructuring] was supposed

to have been done two months earlier, but was delayed due to a change of staff

who were supposed to be transferred."

RAC chairman Vichit Ith, at a May

27 press conference, proclaimed the restructuring had been conducted fairly and

in the best interests of the airline.

"We are a private company and in a

highly competitive business. We have to maintain and improve our standard of

services to attract more passengers to fly with us."

He said the staff

cuts, which had been recommended by First Prime Minister Prince Norodom

Ranariddh, were necessary to improve efficiency and profitability.

Safian

Md. Salleh, RAC commercial affairs manager, said the airline was not a

"charitable organization" and had to be managed profitably and with the right

number of employees

The restructuring had been decided upon by RAC's

shareholders - the Cambodian government and Malaysian Helicopter Services.

Dr Amin Khan, RAC chief operating officer, said one-on-one interviews

were held with all of RAC's 500 staff to determine which ones should be

removed.

Officials said the remaining staff would receive training,

uniforms benefits such as medical care, and higher salaries.

Vichit Ith

said RAC planned to begin flights to China and Laos and secure two new

aircraft.

Before the restructuring, RAC had 500 staff, former employees

of Kampuchea Airlines until RAC became its successor.

RAC, started in

January, is 60 per cent owned by the Cambodian government and 40 per cent by

Malaysian Helicopter Services, which is affiliated to Malaysian

Airlines.

Vichit Ith was recently appointed its chairman, after the

unexpected resignation of Prince Sisowath Chivan Monirak in late

April.

Ith's appointment has been questioned by some lawyers because he

is also Secretary-General of the Cambodian Investment Board - in charge of

handling foreign investment in Cambodia.

Ith, however, disputed the

suggestion there was any conflict of interest in the two jobs.

He said he

was not a member of the government, and the Cambodian Investment Board was in no

way competing with RAC.

His appointment merely reflected the government's

eagerness to put professional, qualified people in charge of businesses it was a

shareholder in.

MOST VIEWED

  • Municipal hall releases map detailing colour coded Covid risks by commune

    Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng released an official map detailing the red, yellow and dark yellow zones within the city under the new lockdown orders for Phnom Penh announced on April 26. The designation of red, dark yellow and yellow corresponds to areas with high,

  • Phnom Penh unveils rules for post-lockdown transition

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Administration issued a set of detailed guidelines for the seven days to May 12 after the capital emerges from lockdown at the onset of May 6. In the 14-page document signed by municipal governor Khuong Sreng released on the evening of May 5, the

  • SBI LY HOUR Bank Launches Cross Border Money Transfer Service between Cambodia and Vietnam on RippleNet, utilizing DLT

    SBI LY HOUR Bank Plc and Hanoi-based Tien Phong Commercial Joint Stock Bank (TPBank) on Friday launched the first Cambodia-Vietnam money transfer service in real currency via RippleNet, provided by SBI Ripple Asia Co Ltd to provide safe, fast and convenient services. SBI LY HOUR

  • Phnom Penh, Takmao lockdown extended for another week

    The government late on April 26 announced an extension of lockdown in Phnom Penh and adjacent Takmao town in Kandal province for another seven days – or longer if residents do not comply with Covid-19 preventive measures and the community outbreak does not subside – until May 5. According

  • Gov't mulls extension of Phnom Penh, Takmao lockdown

    The Inter-ministerial National Commission for the Control and Enforcement of Lockdown held a video conference meeting on April 25 to review a draft document on the extension of lockdown in Phnom Penh and adjacent Kandal province’s Takmao town. The meeting was chaired by Minister of

  • Gov’t issues guidelines as lockdown nears end

    The government has issued a five-page set of instructions to be enforced when the three-week lockdown of Phnom Penh and adjacent Takmao town in Kandal province ends on May 6. According to an announcement signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen on May 4, the instructions cover a