Decision on new minimum wage rates put off until next Wednesday

The tri-partite National Minimum Wage Committee has decided to postpone a ruling on the new minimum wage rates until next Wednesday.

Labour permanent secretary Jarin Chakkaphark, in his capacity as chairman of the wage committee, said after the committee’s meeting on Wednesday that the committee agreed to put off its decision on the minimum wage rates until next Wednesday because it wants to look into all the figures and relevant details more carefully, including consumer’s price index, economic growth figure and cost of living.

He pointed out that there is a wide gap of difference of the minimum wage rates proposed by different provinces, citing, for an example, the case of Bung Karn province which proposed high wage rate claiming the province is short of labour while other provinces in the same group proposed little wage rate increase.

Mr Jarin maintained that the wage committee wanted to make sure that the new wage rates would be appropriate with the conditions in respective provinces.

However, he made clear that the wage committee would not overhaul the basic wage figures, but merely wanted to be more considerate, noting that there are different minimum wage rates.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Thai Labour Solidarity Committee which mainly comprise state enterprise labour leaders called on the government to impose a fair uniform minimum wage rate to be applicable across the country.

But the private sector in the wage committee which includes the Thai Bankers’ Association, the Federation of Thai Industries and the Thai Chamber of Commerce are strongly against a uniform minimum wage rate, claiming that it will push up the prices of consumer products.