Minimum wage hike agreed, details to be discussed

Minimum wage hike agreed, details to be discussed

Permanent secretary for labour Jarin Jakkaphark talks to the press after a meeting on a minimum-wage increase at the Labour Ministry on Wednesday. (Photo by Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)
Permanent secretary for labour Jarin Jakkaphark talks to the press after a meeting on a minimum-wage increase at the Labour Ministry on Wednesday. (Photo by Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)

The national wage committee has agreed to an increase in the minimum wage, but just how big it will be has been put off until talks next week.

Permanent secretary for labour Jarin Jakkaphark said on Wednesday the meeting had approved in principle on a daily wage increase in all provinces, but details will have to be thrashed out at the next round of talks set for Jan 17.

The unsettled details underline the differences between employers and workers, both sending their representatives to attend the tripartite meeting with officials at the Labour Ministry.

The minimum daily minimum wage of 300 baht currently applies in eight provinces, and ranges from 305 to 310 baht in the others. The increase this year will be the first in three years.

Workers are pushing for the flat rate increase across the country but businesses oppose the idea, arguing the cost of living differs in every province.

The rise is expected to be between two and 15 baht.

Mr Jarin said the hike could be more than two baht, but refused to indicate the maximum figure discussed at the meeting.

The new minimum wage could be forwarded for cabinet approval on Jan 23 if all parties can agree on the details at the next meeting,  he said.

Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak reaffirmed his backing on a higher minimum wage at a forum organised by the Economic Reporters Association.

The government supported an increase, but the amount would have to be thoroughly discussed, he said.




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