Tripartite committee rejects uniform 400-baht minimum wage hike

Picture courtesy of Josue Isai Ramos Figueroa, Unsplash

The tripartite wage committee has chosen to uphold the autonomy of provincial wage panels in setting minimum wages, rejecting the Thai government’s uniform 400-baht minimum wage hike. During a tense session on May 14, the 15-member committee, representing the Ministry of Labour, employers, and employees, did not endorse the proposed nationwide increase.

This decision followed closely on the heels of the mobile Cabinet meeting in Phetchaburi, where the Ministry of Labour‘s recommendation for a 400-baht (US$11) wage increase was approved. However, the tripartite committee’s move allows each provincial wage sub-committee to independently assess the proposed hike’s suitability in line with local economic conditions.

Moreover, the committee requested the provincial groups to evaluate the feasibility of the government’s October 1 deadline for implementing the new wages. These sub-committees are expected to report back with their determinations by July.

In a significant vote, seven to five, the committee scrapped the new wage calculation formula it had ratified on February 27. This vote grants each provincial sub-committee the power to establish individual minimum daily wage rates according to their region’s economic realities.

The atmosphere of the committee meeting was fraught, concluding without a joint statement or press briefing. Atthayuthy Liyawanit, representing employers, voiced concerns to the media about the pressure put on provincial wage sub-committees to expedite wage determinations after the old wage formula was discarded, reported Bangkok Post.

Pairoj Chotikasathien, the Labour Permanent Secretary and Committee Chair, countered these concerns by emphasising the importance of respecting provincial committees’ decisions that consider the varying costs of living and economic situations across provinces, rather than conforming to a central government mandate.

In related news, the Thai government’s initiative to increase the daily minimum wage has received widespread approval, with a large section of the populace expressing their support for the plan, a recent poll revealed.

Economy NewsPolitics NewsThailand 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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