At the big Labour Day gathering at Sanam Luang the PM and Deputy PM promised to fully implement the minimum wage policy and tackle the cost of living, but labour leaders asked for more.
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Labour day organisers opted for "impressive" this year, bringing in elephants from Ayutthaya. It looks like they succeeded except there were concerns for the health of the animals as temperatures again reached near or above 40C. CHANAT KATANYU
Govt promises to stay course on minimum wage
Labour groups call for more worker protections
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has vowed to press ahead with implementing the 300 baht daily minimum wage policy in all provinces by January 2013.
She made her pledge to thousands of workers gathered at Sanam Luang in Bangkok for National Labour Day yesterday.
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra received a warm welcome from the crowd assembled at Sanam Luang. GOVERNMENT HOUSE PHOTO.
While workers cheered the move, the Thailand Development Research Institute and the private sector have raised concerns over the adverse impact of the blanket policy.
The government on April 1 increased the minimum wage to 300 baht a day in seven provinces – Bangkok and its neighbouring provinces as well as Phuket.
Workers in the remaining provinces will receive the new minimum daily wage next year. The wage will remain constant for the ensuing two years.
Ms Yingluck said the government was considering granting labour rights equivalent to those enjoyed by Thai workers also to labourers from Laos, Myanmar, and Cambodia.
Deputy Prime Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong said raising the wages of low-income people should improve their purchasing power, and bring about more product sales and more tax revenue.
"The wage hike will make human beings valuable. Those who disagree with the wage hike are business operators who earn seven-digit salaries per month and this makes me feel uncomfortable," he said.
Mr Kittiratt said inflation has stemmed mainly from rising energy prices, not the wage hike.
When the government took office, the oil price in the global market was already more than US$100 (3,073 baht) per barrel, he said.
That was why the government had embarked on subsidies and other forms of compensation, which are still in effect today, he said.
Labour costs have from time to time been suppressed for the sake of the business operators, but that had resulted in compromised buying power for consumers, said Mr Kittiratt.
And to help ease that problem, the government had been forced to subsidise gas and other types of fuel and energy as well as product prices, he said.
Labour groups, meanwhile, yesterday urged the government to tackle the rising cost of living with measures that control consumer product prices and the cost of basic utilities, such as running water and electricity.
They also called on the government to extend better protection to labourers whose basic rights had been violated in the aftermath of the flooding last year.
The groups called on the government to ratify the International Labour Organisation's (ILO) Conventions 87 and 98.
Convention 87 addresses freedom of association and protection of the right to organise. Convention 98 concerns workers' rights to organise and collective bargaining.
Ms Yingluck said parliament was deliberating the proposal.
The labour groups also encouraged the government to cancel all plans to privatise state enterprises.
They called for the right of migrant workers to vote in and contest political elections in a particular precinct after having worked there for at least two years.
In addition, the government should initiate campaigns to educate workers about their basic rights and promote workplace safety.
labour – work, especially hard physical work แรงงาน, งานที่ใช้พละกำลัง
labourer – a person whose job involves hard physical work that is not skilled, especially work that is done outdoors กรรมกร, ผู้ใช้แรงงาน
opt – to make a choice or a decision from a range of possibilities เลือก
impressive – something that people admire because it is very good, very large or shows great skill ซึ่งน่าประทับใจ
concern – a worry ความกังวล
stay the course – to continue doing something until it has finished or been completed, even though it is difficult ยืนกราน, ทนทาน
minimum wage – the lowest wage, daily or hourly, allowed by law ค่าจ้างขั้นต่ำ
vow – to make a formal and serious promise to do something สาบาน, ปฏิญาณ
press ahead – to continue as planned despite difficulties ดำเนินการ
implement – to make something such as an idea, plan, system or law start to work and be used นำแผนหรือนโยบายมาปฏิบัติ, นำมาใช้
policy – a set of plans or action agreed on by a government, political party, business, or other group นโยบาย
pledge – a serious promise คำมั่้นสัญญา
gather – to come together in a group รวมกลุ่ม, รวมตัวกัน, จับกลุ่มกัน, ชุมนุม
assemble – to bring together or gather together and form a group นำมาร่วมกัน
private sector – businesses and industries that are not owned or controlled by the government ภาคเอกชน
adverse – having a negative or harmful effect on something ในทางลบ, เป็นผลร้าย
impact – an effect or influence ผลกระทบ
blanket – affecting or aimed at everyone or everything equally, even when this is not sensible or fair ครอบคลุม, กว้าง
neighbouring – located or living near or next to a place or person ติดกัน, ที่อยู่ใกล้เคียง, ที่ตั้งอยู่ใกล้เคียง
constant – continuous; all the time ต่อเนื่อง
ensuing – following ที่ตามมา
grant – to officially give something ให้
rights – something that you are morally or legally allowed to do or have สิทธิ
equivalent – the same as เท่าเทียมกันกับ
deputy – a person whose rank is immediately below that of the leader of an organisation รอง
improve – to make better ทำให้ดีขึ้น
purchasing power – buying power; the ability to buy things, i.e., having enough money to buy things กำลังซื้อ
revenue – income from taxes or business activities รายได้
hike –an increase การเพิ่มสูงขึ้น
valuable – worth a lot of money มีค่า
operator – a person or company that runs a business ผู้ดำเนินกิจการทางธุรกิจ, ผู้ประกอบธุรกิจ
digit – any one of the ten numbers 0 to 9 ตัวเลข (0 ถึง 9)
seven-digit – a number with seven digits, i.e., between one million and ten million
salary – a fixed amount of money that you earn each month or year from your job เงินเดือน
inflation – a general rise in the prices of services and goods in a particular country, resulting in a fall in the value of money เงินเฟ้อ
stem from – to be caused by เกิดจาก
embark on – to start a new project or activity, usually one that will be difficult and will take time เริ่มดำเนินการสิ่งใหม่ (ที่ยาก)
global – throughout the world ทั่วโลก
subsidy – an amount of money that a government or organisation pays to help to reduce the cost of a produce or service เงินชดเชยที่รัฐเป็นผู้จ่ายให้
compensation – money paid, especially because of some harm received, in this case, rising prices เงินชดเชย
in effect – in use กำลังใช้อยู่
suppress – to prevent something from growing, developing or continuing อดกลั้น, ยับยั้ง, ระงับ
for the sake of – for the benefit or good of someone or something ผลประโยชน์
compromise – to risk harming or losing something important; to reduce in quality, value, or degree; to weaken or lower อ่อนข้อ
consumer – someone who buys and uses goods and services ผู้บริโภค
ease – to make a problem, situation or pain less severe or serious บรรเทา
meanwhile – at the same time ในเวลาเดียวกัน
urge – to advise someone very strongly about what action or attitude they should take ผลักดัน, กระตุ้น
tackle – to make an organised and determine attempt to deal with a problem จัดการ
measure – an action taken to solve a particular problem มาตรการ
utilities – gas, electricity or water, etc. for people to use สาธารณูปโภค
extend – to offer or give something to somebody ให้กับ
violate – to do something that is against a law, rule or agreement ฝ่าฝืน, ละเมิด
aftermath – the effects and results of something bad or important ผลที่ตามมา
ratify – to make an agreement officially valid by voting for or signing it ให้สัตยาบัน,ยืนยัน
convention – an official agreement between countries or leaders สนธิสัญญ, ข้อตกลง
collective bargaining – discussions between a trade/labour union and an employer about the pay and working conditions of the union members การร่วมเจรจาต่อรอง
deliberate – to consider carefully, usually before making a decision พิจารณา, ตรึกตรอง
proposal – a plan or suggestion for a group to consider ข้อเสนอ
encourage – to make someone more likely to do something, or to make something more likely to happen ปลุกใจ
privatise – to sell a business or industry that was owned and managed by the government so that it becomes a private business (the noun form is privatisation) การแปรรูปรัฐวิสาหกิจ
state enterprise – a company or business owned and managed by the government รัฐวิสาหกิจ
migrant worker – someone who travels to another place or country in order to find work คนงานต่างถิ่น
contest – to compete for something แข่งขัน
precinct – one of the parts into which a town or city is divided in order to organise elections เขต, เขตปกครอง
initiate – to make something start ริเริ่ม
campaign – a series of actions intended to produce political or social change การรณรงค์
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