UPS overseas: business as usual
A look at operations in Thailand
August 18, 1997
Web posted at: 9:35 a.m. EDT (1335 GMT)
From Bangkok Bureau Chief Tom Mintier
BANGKOK, Thailand (CNN) -- While the Teamsters strike against United Parcel Service has crippled the package delivery company's U.S. operations, the impact overseas appears to be less severe.
According to the UPS Web site: "The U.S. labor situation has no impact on packages and documents traveling between countries. Expect regular international service to and from the U.S. However, sporadic delays may be possible in some locations."
In Thailand's capital, where there are 57 UPS deliverymen -- all full-time employees -- none are on strike. For them, it's business as usual, with some making their rounds on motorcycles on Bangkok's clogged streets.
Still, says the manager of UPS operations in Thailand, some customers have switched to competitors. Vichai Chuensuksawaki reports business has slowed a bit, "primarily to the U.S., but our international volume through Asia and Europe has maintained its pace."
Suthinan Phanviset, a UPS driver in Thailand for five years, makes a good living, even if it isn't close to what his counterparts in the United States earn.
A driver here has a starting salary equal to about $300 a month -- a good salary by Thai standards. Workers are paid overtime and receive a good benefits package, including both health and life insurance that covers the employee and his family.
"I get an annual bonus as well," says Phanviset.
Once the strike ends, Chuensuksawaki expects to regain lost customers.
Meanwhile, the strike could actually benefit some of the company's overseas operations. In some locations, UPS is not as well known as its competition so any news coverage -- even if it's negative -- may help boost brand recognition.