Thailand’s tripartite committee to reconsider new minimum daily wage

Picture courtesy of Josue Isai Ramos Figueroa, Unsplash

A pivotal meeting is set to take place on Tuesday, led by the tripartite committee on minimum daily wages in Thailand. The discussion is centred around the possibility of revising the new daily wage rate that was established on December 8. This comes in the wake of comments made by Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin criticising the newly determined rate as being too low.

The chairman of the committee, Pairoj Chotikasathien, who also serves as the permanent secretary for labour, announced yesterday that the committee’s members will assess the potential for revision at Wednesday’s meeting. The committee is a diverse group comprised of representatives from the government, employers, and employees. The assembly will also consider a new formula for determining wage revisions, a proposal put forth by the Faculty of Economics at Thammasat University.

However, Atthayut Leeyavanich, a representative for employers on the committee, expressed disagreement with the motion to reassess the minimum wage. He pointed out that the new wage was unanimously determined by the committee on December 8, adhering to legal protocols. The current wage formula, which has been in effect since 1998 under Section 87 of the Labour Protection Act 1998, was thoroughly reviewed before being presented to the cabinet, according to Atthayut, reported Bangkok Post.

On December 8, the wage committee agreed to increase the daily wage threshold to a range between 330 and 370 baht (between US$ 9.4 and 10.6), up from 328 to 354 baht (US$ 9.39 to 10.13). The exact rate varies across different regions of the country.

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Weerasuk Kaewboonpan, a representative for employees on the committee, stated he would seek opinions from other committee members regarding the possibility of altering the December 8 resolution. If the resolution is deemed changeable, the committee will discuss a new wage increase revision. If it is deemed unchangeable, no further discussions will take place.

Olarn Thinbangtieo, a lecturer at Burapha University’s Faculty of Political Science and Law, suggested that Prime Minister Srettha should consider a cabinet reshuffle if the government fails to increase the minimum wage rate to 400 baht (US$ 11.45) as previously promised by the Pheu Thai Party, the ruling party, as part of their key populist platform.

The prime minister voiced his dissatisfaction on December 9 regarding the wage committee’s decision about the new minimum rate, stating it was too low and promising to review it. He also mentioned that the minimum wage increases, from 2 to 16 baht (US$ 0.057 to 0.46), were insufficient compared to the increase in living costs. He specifically noted that the 2 to 3 baht (US$ 0.057 to 0.086) increase for the three southernmost provinces is inadequate to purchase even a single egg.

Thailand News

Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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