Workers left in dark on wage future

Workers left in dark on wage future

The military government has declined to reveal whether workers in some provinces will face pay cuts when the 300 baht national daily minimum wage is scrapped at the end of the year.

The government has announced it is revoking the 300 baht national daily minimum wage — a core policy of the ousted Pheu Thai government — in favour of the old system where wages are set on a province-by-province basis.

Labour Ministry permanent secretary Nakhon Silpa-archa gave few details of the decision when he addressed a seminar involving wage committee members on Friday.

He was unable to say how much workers can expect to be paid in future, since remuneration will be based on the cost of living and the economy in each province.

“The ministry is studying the feasibility of floating wages and an appropriate way to set the rates,” he said.

The change will boost Thailand’s competitiveness and employment rates, said Mr Nakhon, adding that potential wage increases will improve the living conditions of workers and reduce wage disparities nationwide.

Employees will have to improve their skills and productivity, the key factors in determining their income, he said.

For next year, provincial wage committees have been asked to propose minimum pay rates, which will be considered at a national meeting in October.

The guidelines for next year’s wages will also be used as the standard for the following years.

In March, the Thai Labour Solidarity Committee proposed the minimum wage be increased to 360 baht a day after a survey found workers' cost of living had almost doubled from 2013.

The 300 baht minimum wage brought a pay increase of more than 100% for workers in some provinces.

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