State enterprise unions want a fair uniform minimum wage rate

The Thai Labour Solidarity Committee (TLSC) and the State Enterprises Workers’ Relations Confederation have demanded the government to impose a uniform minimum wage rate applicable throughout the country and that the rate must be sufficient for workers and their families to live a decent life.

Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday (Jan 9), Mr Sawit Kaewvarn, the TLSC president, cited a provision of the UN declaration of human rights which specifies that a working individual is entitled to a fair compensation to enable him/her and family to live a life befitting human dignity.

He said he doubted the mandatory minimum wage rates set at 300, 305, 308 and 310 baht per day by the National Minimum Wage Committee for different parts of the country was enough for a single person or a family of three to survive under the present circumstances when prices of consumer products increased every time minimum wages were adjusted.

The TLSC’s move came as the National Minimum Wage Committee will hold a meeting on Wednesday (Jan 10) to discuss the increase of minimum wage.

He noted that different minimum wage rates for different zones of the country had prompted movement of workers from low-pay zones to high-pay zones because the prices of consumer products are almost equal throughout the country or, perhaps, higher in rural areas than in urban areas.

The movement of labour from low-pay zones to high-pay zones has resulted in congestion in urban areas, urban poverty, insufficient public services and environmental degradation whereas, in rural areas, there is labour shortage in the farm sector.