Panel votes to freeze minimum wage through June

Panel votes to freeze minimum wage through June

Economic problems led the National Wage Committee to put off the next minimum wage increase. (Photo by Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)
Economic problems led the National Wage Committee to put off the next minimum wage increase. (Photo by Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)

The National Wage Committee on Monday voted to freeze the minimum wage for at least the first half of next year due to the country’s economic problems.

ML Puntrik Smiti, permanent secretary for labour and chairman of the committee, said the panel resolved that there would not be any wage increase from January to June because of the slow economy and disinflation.

He added that surveys taken from April to May 2015 found that the 300-baht minimum wage was enough for most workers. Expenditures on necessities was estimated at 269 baht per day and spending on necessities plus entertainment was 286 baht a day, he said.

"Almost no provincial wage subcommittees proposed an increase in the minimum wage," ML Puntrik said.

He also expressed his belief that the minimum wage need not be uniform nationwide. They should be based on local economic and social conditions and compensation capabilities of local employers.

Atthayuth Leeyawanit, an employer representative on the National Wage Committee, said the economic slowdown has continued for a few years and the future remained uncertain, so employers and workers agreed to postpone the next wage increase for the survival of both sides.

Sombat Noiwa, a labour representative, said he agreed with the postponement.

He also said that wage-increase proposals came from subcommittees in Ayutthaya, Chachoensao, Phuket, Samut Prakan and Saraburi provinces and he would later study their reasoning.


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