Minimum wage to rise by only 2.4%

Minimum wage to rise by only 2.4%

New rates far short of the 400 baht a day promised by Pheu Thai during election campaign

A worker performs maintenance at the Tha Tian pier in Phra Nakhon district of Bangkok on Nov 26. (Photo: Apichart Jinakul)
A worker performs maintenance at the Tha Tian pier in Phra Nakhon district of Bangkok on Nov 26. (Photo: Apichart Jinakul)

The average daily minimum wage will rise by 2.4% effective from Jan 1, far short of the level promised by the Pheu Thai Party during its election campaign earlier this year.

The tripartite committee on wages, comprising representatives of business, labour and government, announced the new rates on Friday. They will range from 330 to 370 baht depending on the province. The current rates are 328 to 354 baht.

Workers in Phuket will obtain the highest daily wage of 370 baht, up from 354 baht now.

The increases range from 2 to 16 baht, or an average of 2.4%.

“This adjustment will allow workers to achieve a standard of living that is based on economic conditions and suitable for businesses,” said Pairoj Chotikasathien, the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Labour, who chaired Friday’s meeting.

The Pheu Thai Party had pledged to raise the wage to 400 baht a day by the end of this year. However, Labour Minister Pipat Ratchakitprakarn last month poured cold water on that idea, saying wages would probably rise by only 2% in line with the current low inflation.

The last wage increase approved by the tripartite committee was 5%, in October last year.

Pheu Thai’s plan for a big wage hike had rattled businesses, which feared it would push up operating costs and make the country less competitive for investors at a time when the economy is underpeforming.

“Workers wanted a bigger raise but employers wanted to slow the hike or keep the existing rates, so we needed to compromise and seek a balance,” said Mr Pairoj. “The rate may reach 400 baht next year.”

The new daily minimum wages by province (current rates in parentheses) are as follows:

  • 370 baht in Phuket (up by 16 baht from 354 baht)
  • 363 baht in six provinces — Bangkok, Nakhon Pathom, Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, Samut Prakan and Samut Sakhon — (up by 10 baht from 353 baht)
  • 361 baht in two provinces: Chon Buri and Rayong (up by 7 baht from 354 baht)
  • 352 baht in Nakhon Ratchasima (up by 12 baht from 340 baht)
  • 351 baht in Samut Songkhram (up by 13 baht from 338 baht)
  • 350 baht in six provinces: Ayutthaya (343), Saraburi (340), Chachoengsao (345), Prachin Buri (340), Khon Kaen (340) and Chiang Mai (340)
  • 349 baht in Lop Buri (340)
  • 348 baht in three provinces: Suphan Buri (340), Nakhon Nayok (338) and Nong Khai (340 baht).
  • 347 baht in two provinces: Krabi (340) and Trat (340)
  • 345 baht in 15 provinces: Kanchanaburi (335), Prachuap Khiri Khan (335), Surat Thani (340), Songkhla (340), Phangnga (340), Chanthaburi (338), Sa Kaeo (335), Nakhon Phanom (335), Mukdahan (338), Sakon Nakhon (338), Buri Ram (335), Ubon Ratchathani (340), Chiang Rai (332), Tak (332) and Phitsanulok (335)
  • 344 baht in three provinces: Phetchaburi (335), Chumphon (332) and Surin (335)
  • 343 baht in three provinces: Yasothon (335), Lamphun (332) and Nakhon Sawan (335)
  • 342 baht in five provinces: Nakhon Si Thammarat (332), Bung Kan (335), Kalasin (338), Roi-et (335) and Phetchabun (335)
  • 341 baht in five provinces: Chai Nat (335), Sing Buri (332), Phatthalung (335), Chaiyaphum (332) and Ang Thong (335)
  • 340 baht in 16 provinces: Ranong (332), Satun (332), Loei (335), Nong Bua Lamphu (332), Udon Thani (340), Maha Sarakham (332), Si Sa Ket (332), Amnat Charoen (332), Mae Hong Son (332), Lampang (332), Sukhothai (332), Uttaradit (335), Kamphaeng Phet (332), Phichit (332), Uthai Thani (332) and Ratchaburi (332)
  • 338 baht in four provinces: Trang (332), Nan (328), Phayao (335) and Phrae (332)
  • 330 baht in three provinces: Narathiwat (328), Pattani (328) and Yala (328).
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