Committee refuses B400 rate
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Committee refuses B400 rate

Workers call for an end to violations of workers’ rights and demand a wage increase. (File photo: Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)
Workers call for an end to violations of workers’ rights and demand a wage increase. (File photo: Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)

The tripartite wage committee has granted freedom to wage panels to fix the proper minimum wage for their respective provinces after refusing to bow to pressure from the government to approve a raise at a flat rate of 400 baht across the board, said a source.

The 15-member tripartite wage committee insisted on Tuesday that it had not yet approved the 400-baht wage proposal.

This came hours after the mobile cabinet meeting in Phetchaburi greenlit the Ministry of Labour's proposal on the 400-baht hike.

The tripartite committee -- consisting of representatives from the Ministry of Labour, employers and employees -- on Tuesday decided to allow each provincial wage sub-committee to come up with a preliminary decision on whether the proposed 400-baht hike is suitable for the economic situation in their province.

The tripartite committee also asked the provincial wage sub-committees to decide whether the Oct 1 deadline imposed by the government to introduce a new wage is practical.

The provincial wage sub-committees are expected to submit their opinions on the matter to the main wage committee by July. Also, the tripartite committee voted seven to five to abolish its new wage calculation formula endorsed on Feb 27.

The vote effectively allows each provincial wage sub-committee to decide on its own what the new minimum daily wage rate should be in each individual province, said the source.

The tripartite committee meeting on Tuesday was tense. No joint statement was issued, nor was a press briefing held at the end of the meeting, the source said.

Emerging from the meeting, Atthayuthy Liyawanit, a committee member representing employers, complained to reporters that it was inappropriate for Pairoj Chotikasathien, the labour permanent secretary and the committee chairman, to rush the provincial wage sub-committees into finding new wage rates after the cancellation of the old wage calculation formula.

Mr Pairoj, meanwhile, insisted it is important for the tripartite committee to show respect to the provincial wage sub-committees by allowing them to decide more independently based on each province's cost of living and economic situation, rather than just doing as the government asked.

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