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Employers in Thailand object to raising minimum wage

Tara Abhasakun

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Flickr/Gerry Popplestone

In the midst of Thailand’s worst worker’s debt in 14 years, Thai employers are opposing a new proposal to increase the country’s daily minimum wage. The currrent minimum daily wages range from 313 baht to 336 baht, depending on which part of the country you’re in. In Bangkok it’s 331 baht. Earlier this week, the Thai Labour Solidarity Committee and the State Enterprises Workers’ Relations Confederation proposed that the new daily minimum be 492 baht nationwide.

In response, representatives from more than 40 employer associations met with the labour minister yesterday to push back against the proposal. The chairman of the Employers’ Confederation of Thailand said that due to current economic conditions from Covid-19, and the Russia-Ukraine crisis, the ECT disagrees with the 492 baht proposal.

The chairman stressed that if the minimum wage goes up, it should be the government that decides how much it is, since it has the economic data and tools to assess this.

The Thai labour minister responded by saying that the wage increase will be considered by the national tripartite wage committee, and the issue is being reviewed by local wage committees. He said a final decision is expected to be made in September.

This news comes in the wake of severe economic stress in Thailand. Prices on several necessities including diesel, pork, and postal services have spiked in recent months and weeks.

A survey by the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce says the average debt of each worker’s household in Thailand is 217,000 baht this year. This is a 14 year high for Thailand. At the end of 2021, the country’s overall household debt was 14.6 trillion baht, one of the highest in Asia, per capita.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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    A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.

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