Wage-hike disaster looms for many companies, FTI warns
Raising the daily minimum wage to 400 baht would have a detrimental impact on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) says.
The 400-baht wage was a Palang Pracharath Party election campaign promise.
"The economy is not good now and this wage hike would certainly take its toll on SMEs," FTI chairman Suphan Mongkolsuthee said.
A wage rise must respond to economic conditions in each area, he said.
He said the private sector attaches importance on how to improve skills among workers so they can have a better chance of earning more income.
According to him, a wage hike should be deliberated by the tripartite national wage committee and the increase should depend on regional economic conditions.
"A hike should not result in the same wage across the country. Such an increase would benefit migrant workers," said Mr Suphan.
"Most Thai workers already have better wages. However, they need to focus on improving their skills."
Not only would such a hike imperil SMES it would also hit the farming sector, he said, adding: "The government must stop talking about wages and instead focus more on labour skills development."
Meanwhile, Chalee Loysoong, deputy chairman of the Thai Labour Solidarity Committee, welcomed reports the government aims to raise the daily minimum wage to 400 baht.
"For workers, this is a delightful thing. This is what the government or the party pledged in the election," Mr Chalee said.
However, he said the government should step up efforts to rein in rising prices to ensure workers really benefit from the wage hike.
It should also come up with measures to ensure employers comply with the wage rise, he added. According to him, the government could also help employers following a hike, by reducing corporate income tax.