Business leaders have repeated their call for the government to increase the compensation fund offered to help offset the impact of the minimum wage hike.
Payungsak Chartsutthipol, chairman of the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI), said the compensation amount for businesses, especially small and medium-sized enterprises, should increase because labour costs surged in the first nine months of this year.
The private sector has proposed that in the new year, the government compensate businesses for 75% of wages, with the figure lowering to 50% in 2014 and 25% in 2015.
The Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking sees the measure as the best way to help businesses affected by the rise in the daily minimum wage to 300 baht.
Taweekit Chaturacharoenkhun, the FTI's vice-chairman for labour issues, has said that 27 measures proposed earlier by the Labour Ministry will provide little help for affected companies.
The measures include loans to help improve productivity, opening new marketing channels, lowering corporate income tax and expanding the time frame for loan repayment.
"The private sector has studied the proposals and we found they will help cover less than 10% of the wage hike, but the government thinks it should help 100%," Mr Taweekit said recently.
The FTI has also sent an urgent letter to Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra asking for help in the form of an extension of the nationality verification deadline for migrant workers, which expired last Friday.
Meanwhile, Mr Payungsak vowed to proceed with the monthly FTI committee meeting on Dec 24 at the head office.
Issues to be raised include the increase in the minimum wage and the ongoing internal conflict at the FTI.
Last month's meeting was postponed by Mr Payungsak, sparking an uproar among some members who said he had failed to get the government to delay the nationwide daily minimum wage hike from Jan 1.
Mr Payungsak said the wage issue has been used to hide the real reason why his opponents want to remove him.
Led by FTI vice-chairman Tanit Sorat, the opposition has asked Mr Payungsak to step down to show spirit.
About the author
- Writer: Nanchanok Wongsamuth
Position: News Reporter