The itinerant laborers say that the increase in Thailand’s minimum wage from 196 baht on March 30, 2012 to 300 baht per day April 1 this year hasn’t translated into easier lives. They still must contend with employers who defer wages, deduct rent at shabby construction camps and extensive overtime hours, just to make ends meet.
Laborers, some shown here improving the diminishing beach landscape for the May Day celebration, say 300 baht a day is still not enough for them to make ends meet in today’s ever changing economy.
Ekachai Lainamthong, 48, a construction foreman, said laborers are an important cog in Thailand’s economic machine. He hoped construction workers annually would receive a paid Labor Day holiday on May 1 and that Ministry of Labor officials will continue to ensure that employers pay the legal minimum wage.