Approximately 40 Caltex employees went on strike in front of a Monireath Boulevard gas station on Tuesday morning to demand that the station’s former boss, who was fired for drinking beer on the job, be reinstated.
Chak Bunthorn, 35, said he was fired from his position as station manager after drinking two cans of beers that a customer—who was also a personal friend—bought for him at 3 pm on Feb 22.
“I was working, and a customer bought me the beer, so I drank,” said Chak Bunthorn, who also participated in the strike to get his job back.
“I know that I was wrong to drink during work time,” Chak Bunthorn said, though he added that he was not drunk and neither was his drinking partner.
Twenty-one members of staff from the station joined the strike, along with staff from other Caltex stations in the capital.
Bou Badou, 29, said he would not pump any more gas until Chak Bunthorn gets his job back.
“It was just courtesy” for Chak Bunthorn to drink the beers with his friend, Bou Badou said.
“We demand he be reinstated, and if not, this station will stay shut down, and others will, too,” he said.
“I think this is wrong. It was his first mistake.”
Cashier Seng Tin, 30, said that employees felt the need to protect themselves from unfair dismissal.
“His mistake shouldn’t warrant firing,” Seng Tin said. “There should be warnings two or three times.”
Caltex communications specialist Pich Chetra said Chak Bunthorn was fired for serious misconduct. He added that the firm simply cannot allow staff to drink on the job.
“We are an international company concerned about the safety of customers when he consumed alcohol during work like this,” Pich Chetra said.