Thai workers call for minimum wage increase

Workers in Thailand urged the authorities to raise the minimum wage nationwide.

On 14 September 2016, about 100 people from the Thai Labour Solidarity Committee (TLSC) and its networks submitted a petition to ML Puntrik Smiti, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Labour, voicelabour.org reported.

The workers want the minimum wage to be raised to 360 baht (about 10 USD) instead of 300 baht per day currently.

The Labour Ministry has given a green light to the proposal to raise the minimum wage in 13 provinces in accordance to what the 13 Provincial Wage Committees proposed. However, it is uncertain if the policy will apply to 64 other provinces or not.

The TLSC stated that the increase of minimum wage should be applied in every province regardless of minimal differences of the cost of living in each province.     

“The Central Wage Committee should realise that currently the cost of living has already increased significantly. Wages for civil servants and workers of public enterprises were already raised. But the wage of general labours has not increased for three years,” Charlie Loysung, Interim president of the TLSC said.

He added that it is not only up to Provincial Wage Committee of each province to decide no the wage increase, but the Central Wage Committee.

Supporting the petition, Jirapat Kongsuk, representative of workers from Rayong Province, said that Rayong Wage Committee has not proposed the minimum wage increase, but the wage committee of Chonburi already has despite the fact that the cost of living in the two adjacent provinces are almost the same.

 Jirapat warned that such policy could lead to workers moving to provinces with higher wage, adding that according to the policy of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) 360 baht is still too low to support a family of three.

Puntrik said that the Labour Ministry will consider the petition and will finalise the policy over the minimum wage increase in late October.    

Workers from the Thai Labour Solidarity Committee (TLSC) and other labour networks call for wage increase on 14 September 2016  (Photo from Nongmai Vijan's Facebook Account)