New daily wage proposal on hold pending further study

New daily wage proposal on hold pending further study

Workers hope for a rise in the basic daily wage, but the committee that makes that decision has put it on hold for now. (Photo by Pawat Laopaisarntaksin)
Workers hope for a rise in the basic daily wage, but the committee that makes that decision has put it on hold for now. (Photo by Pawat Laopaisarntaksin)

An expected decision to increase daily minimum wage levels has been deferred, with the tripartite committee saying it needs more information.

Jarin Jakaphark, permanent secretary for labour affairs, said on Wednesday that provincial subcommittees have proposed a raise of two to 10 baht this year, depending on the province.

Workers had expected the committee to green-light the increases at its meeting on Wednesday, so that the new rates would be effective from April 1. However, the committee decided it needed more time.

Today's decision not to make a decision yet means a further delay.

"We need more information for a thorough study," said Mr Jarin, who chairs the committee comprising representatives from the worker, private and government sectors. The additional data wanted included updated figures on the cost of living, economic growth and inflation, he said.

One issue that made committee members reluctant to approve the new rates was the decision by 46 provinces that wages should not be raised. Other provinces wanted to see wages rise. Bangkok, Samut Prakan, Phuket and Chon Buri topped the demand, with a 10 baht a day hike.

Mr Jarin said the board wanted to know why 49 provinces decided there should be no increase in the minimum wage. However, a final decision would be made this year, he added.

Subcommittees in all provinces sounded out comments from workers and businesses on what the minimum wage should be and sent the results to the central panel in Bangkok.

Last month, exporters cited increasing minimum wages as a new risk for the economy.

Mr Jarin said there had been no lobbying of the board to delay the increase.

Minimum daily wages now are between 308 baht and 330 baht, according to the Labour Ministry. The lowest rate is for workers in Narathiwat, Pattani and Yala. Chon Buri, Phuket and Rayong have the highest wage.



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