Minimum wage hike stalled in Thailand

Thailand’s PM Srettha Thavisin expressed dissatisfaction with the wage hike proposed, deeming it insufficient to tackle living costs.
By: | December 12, 2023

Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin has rejected proposed increases to Thailand’s minimum daily wage, stating that the suggested amounts are “too small” to address the rising cost of living.

The proposed rates, set by a tripartite committee, range from 330 to 370 baht (US$9.25 to US$10.37) depending on the province, representing an increase of just 2 to 16 baht (US$0.06 to US$0.45) from the current rate.

Thavisin announced that he would vote against these proposed rates when the Labour Ministry brings the matter to the Cabinet for endorsement. He argued that the minimal raises would offer little relief to millions of employees who rely on their daily wage, particularly in light of rising living costs.

“Millions of people still rely on their daily wages and the rise of just 2 to 7 baht (US$0.06 to US$0.20) in some provinces is too little,” he said.

Thavisin, who is also the Finance Minister of Thailand, also expressed his displeasure with the proposal 2-baht increase for employees in the southernmost provinces of Yala, Pattani, and Narathiwat. He called the amount insufficient and demanded further discussion with the tripartite committee to determine a more “appropriate” minimum wage rate.

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Highlighting the importance of considering employees’ wellbeing, Thavisin called on organisations to exceed the proposed rates, citing government measures like reduced electricity prices that benefitted them. Despite concerns about deterring investment, he advocated for an ideal minimum daily wage of 400 baht (US$11.21) in major provinces.

“It’s time to reflect on improving employees’ quality of life,” he said, reported The National.