Ministry hints at wage hike, firms seek delay

Ministry hints at wage hike, firms seek delay

Labour groups repeat their call for the minimum wage to be raised to 360 baht a day nationwide at the Royal Plaza on June 25, 2015. (Photo by Thiti Wannamontha)
Labour groups repeat their call for the minimum wage to be raised to 360 baht a day nationwide at the Royal Plaza on June 25, 2015. (Photo by Thiti Wannamontha)

The Labour Ministry has sent a signal a minimum-wage increase is possible next year after receiving proposals from provincial wage committees.

"There's no question 300 baht [a day] has become the minimum. But when to increase the wage, where it will apply and by how much will be later finalised by the central wage committee in August," said Labour Ministry permanent secretary Nakorn Silpa-archa on Tuesday.

"From what we heard from operators, 90% of them said the rate should not be raised now," he said.

"Everything will be clear in August. The new minimum rate need not take effect on Jan 1. In fact, if it's raised, operators will be informed two months in advance."  

Tanit Sorat, vice-president of the Employers' Confederation of Thai Trade and Industry, said 90% of its member operators in 11 groups foresaw a "severe" impact if the wage was raised to 360 baht a day as proposed by employees' groups.

"We believe the appropriate level should be 310-320 baht and the new rate should take effect when the economy recovers," he said.

The Thai Chamber of Commerce also said on Tuesday its members disagreed with a wage hike next year.

"Some 95.4% of us were already reeling from the 300-baht wage, with lower profits and higher costs," said chamber vice-chairman Pumin Harinsut.

They also view wages should vary by area and should not be the same all over the country. "Market mechanisms should dictate them," he said.

According to them, the appropriate minimum wage should be 293.45 baht. Workers in the central region should get the highest rate of 304.66 baht a day, followed those by the South (300.58 baht), Bangkok and its vicinities (299.39 baht), the North (274.06 baht) and the Northeast (272.63 baht).

The chamber proposed that the minimum wage of 300 baht be left unchanged. The wages should also vary based on business types and skills.

Meanwhile, labour groups insist the minimum wage be raised to 360 baht a day nationwide.  


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