Wage rise for select regions
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Wage rise for select regions

Panel agrees on 400 baht daily minimum

Construction workers in Bangkok’s central business area eat from lunch boxes. (File photo: Pornprom Satrabhaya)
Construction workers in Bangkok’s central business area eat from lunch boxes. (File photo: Pornprom Satrabhaya)

The tripartite wage committee on Tuesday approved another minimum wage increase to 400 baht a day for some areas in 10 provinces, effective on April 13.

Pairoj Chotikasathien, permanent secretary for the Labour Ministry and chairman of the committee, said the wage hike would apply to tourism-related businesses and four-star hotels with at least 50 employees.

The committee consists of representatives from the government, employers and employees.

The hike will be applied to Bangkok's Pathumwan and Watthana districts, Chiang Mai's Nakhon Chiang Mai municipality, all of Phuket, the area under the jurisdiction of tambon Ao Nang administrative organisation in Krabi, Songkhla's Hat Yai municipality, Surat Thani's Koh Samui district, Phangnga's tambon Khuk Khak municipality, Pattaya City in Chon Buri, Prachuap Khiri Khan's Hua Hin municipality, and Rayong's tambon Ban Phae.

Mr Pairoj said the tripartite committee would also consider another wage hike for employees in export and logistics businesses.

Labour Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn said that the new wage hike will be presented for acknowledgement by the cabinet on April 2 and published in the Royal Gazette, effective April 13.

The new wage hike is intended as a gift on the occasion of the Songkran festival in April, the Thai New Year, the minister said.

On Feb 27, the wage committee approved a study on the possibility of increasing rates for some provinces and career types. A survey was conducted to gather information from businesses and employers in the 10 provinces that earn high incomes from the tourism industry.

Factors used to calculate the minimum wage include labour productivity, GDP and inflation.

The daily minimum wage for Thai workers nationwide rose on Jan 1, with the new rates varying between provinces, ranging from 330 to 370 baht, according to the tripartite wage committee.

Before Jan 1, the rates were between 328 and 354 baht. The increases range from 2 to 16 baht, or an average of 2.37%.

Mr Phiphat previously said a wage review is typically based on the economic growth rate, inflation, and the cost of living over the past five years.

However, he noted the wage rate calculation was unfair to workers because it included the low economic growth rate during the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020-2021. He said the economic situation during the outbreak should not be used in the calculation.

The Pheu Thai Party promised a 400-baht rate during its election campaign earlier last year, which rattled businesses, which said it threatened to make the country less competitive.

A source at the Federation of Thai Industries said the new hike, planned for next month, would burden business operators, especially small and medium-sized enterprises, despite the relatively small increment. The source said the government should come up with stimulus measures rather than raising wages again.

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