Labour minister to propose increase in daily wage

Labour minister to propose increase in daily wage

Will submit new rate to cabinet in February

Labour Minister MR Chatu Mongol Sonakul
Labour Minister MR Chatu Mongol Sonakul

Labour Minister MR Chatu Mongol Sonakul plans to propose a daily minimum wage increase to the cabinet in February.

The minimum wage rise is part of the ruling Palang Pracharath Party's campaign promise to lift the rate from a range of 308 to 330 baht per day to between 400 and 425 baht per day. 

"The positive and negative impacts of the potential wage hike must be thoroughly evaluated, so it is better to spend a few months studying economic conditions and gauging the opinions of both employers and employees first," MR Chatu Mongol said on Tuesday. 

"Nobody is pressuring me to do this. Perhaps they [political party allies] want me to be the first person to take the risk of carrying out the minimum wage hike," he said. 

The wage increase is a contentious issue, and in July, the party's secretary-general and Energy Minister Sontirat Sontijirawong said it was not an urgent priority of the coalition government. 

The Ministry of Labour is conducting an opinion survey of wage sub-committees in all 77 provinces on various issues, including whether the wage increase is necessary under the current economic conditions, and, if so, what the appropriate rate should be.

MR Chatu Mongol said he wants to know what employers and employees actually think.

“But I know some employees are close to their bosses, so don't want just their opinions, while others are worried that a wage rise will lead to more expensive goods and even layoffs,” he said.

An initial survey indicated that sub-committees in 46 provinces have not formally proposed a wage increase, MR Chatu Mongol said.

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