Wage rate wrangling rattles on

Wage rate wrangling rattles on

Protesters hold a sign saying ‘Prices of Goods Go Up, Wages Down’ as they demand a hike in the daily minimum wage for workers outside Government House on July 18, 2022. (Photo: Apichart Jinakul)
Protesters hold a sign saying ‘Prices of Goods Go Up, Wages Down’ as they demand a hike in the daily minimum wage for workers outside Government House on July 18, 2022. (Photo: Apichart Jinakul)

The tripartite committee considering raising daily wages has yet to approve new rates proposed by provincial wage sub-committees due to dramatic differences in proposals submitted for consideration.

The committee asked the provincial wage sub-committees to revise their proposals and promises and deliver the outcome to the Labour Ministry by September, according to a source.

The meeting was held on Tuesday and chaired by Boonchob Suthamanaswong, permanent secretary of the Labour Ministry.

A conclusion could not be reached because some provinces had proposed way too high rates, while others suggested low rates and others did not seek a wage increase, said the source.

Prachin Buri proposed the highest wage rate hike of all while a number of other provinces in the same industrial zone, for instance, proposed inconsistent rates, said the same source.

Other provinces including Udon Thani, Mukdahan and Nan suggested keeping their minimum wage rates unchanged, which was seen as unrealistic as that would be unfair for workers struggling to cope with the impact of high inflation, said the source.

The provinces that did not explain why they would want to keep the rates unchanged were told to stick to their previous proposals, provide a good reason and come up with a suitable new rate, said the source.

The central wage committee -- consisting of representatives of the government, employers and employees -- planned to finalise the new rates in all provinces by next month and then push to have these take effect before the end of the year, according to the source.

The country has not raised the minimum daily wage over the past two years while the economy was battered by the Covid-19 pandemic. It was agreed at the meeting that raising the daily wage is now necessary to cope with the rising cost of living and boost the economy.


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