13 provinces push for rise in pay scale

August 29, 20169:51 am347 views

Employers and workers’ representatives in 13 provinces are pushing ahead with their pay rise proposal of between four and 60 baht, to boost the daily minimum wage which has stayed unchanged at 300 baht for four years.

The new rate, which has been recently suggested by provincial wage subcommittees, will be tabled before the Central Wage Committee on Sept 15, permanent secretary for labour ML Puntrik Smiti, who chairs the committee, said on Friday.

The 13 provinces are Phetchabun, Sakon Nakhon, Ayutthaya, Ang Thong, Chachoengsao, Prachin Buri, Chon Buri, Krabi, Phuket, Narathiwat, Saraburi, Pathum Thani and Samut Sakhon.

Ten of them agree with the proposed range, except the last three provinces whose subcommittees have still not settled on the final figures, ML Puntrik said. Currently, representatives from the Labour Ministry, companies and workers, who are members of the subcommittees in the three provinces, are vetting their own new rates for the wage increase.

They will base their decisions on three factors — the current national economic conditions, living costs encountered by workers, and their employers’ ability to pay the new wage, she said. The subcommittees in other 64 provinces, including Bangkok, decided not to ask for pay rises.

A source close to workers’ representatives in Bangkok’s wage subcommittee said they have been debating the new rate with employers’ representatives since the middle of last year, but low inflation caused them to delay the hike request.

The inflation indicator, which is among factors measuring economic prospects, has been mostly negative until this year though the economy has been showing signs of recovery.

Employers’ representatives suggested the subcommittee first evaluate the economy in the second part of this year before making a final decision, the source said, adding a pay rise proposal should be made earlier next year provided the economy becomes healthier.

The new minimum wage will be “a morale boost for workers” the source said, though the increase will be “just 4 or 5 baht”. The 300-baht wage was introduced in 2012 in Phuket, Bangkok and provinces surrounding the capital which have high costs of living and large industries. Other provinces followed suit the next year.

Vice-chairman of the Federation of Thai Industries Vallop Vitanakorn said it was the second attempt this year from the employees’ side to ask for higher wages.


news source: bangkokpost.com/news/general/1071816/13-provinces-push-for-rise-in-pay-scale

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