Bt300 wage rise affects Thai fishing industry


CHONBURI, Jan 9 – Over 20 fishing boats in this eastern Thai province did not go to sea this morning, claiming it was due to the government’s Bt300 daily minimum wage. 

Seafood prices have risen, for boat owners there refuse to pay the minimum wage.

Wasana Pismai, a fishing boat owner, said she could not bear the cost of paying the fishermen, as each boat needs five to six workers to go out fishing, while the weather has been difficult, resulting in a smaller amount of seafood to be caught at sea.

Chon Buri merchants are now ordering seafood from Mahachai market in Samut Sakhon, southwest of Bangkok, to sell in Chon Buri’s markets.

Meanwhile, Sombat Jungtrakul, Chanthaburi Border Trade Operators Club president, said Cambodian traders have ordered more Thai goods for several days, up from the previous average value of Bt30 million to Bt40 million, for they fear prices of Thai merchandise will be higher due to the wage hike.

In a related matter, Prasartsin On-aat, honorary chairman of Thai Autoparts Manufacturers Association, said the wage rise has worried some manufacturers because of a lack of labour in the auto industry. He said some workers decided to move back to work in their hometowns as wages are now equal nationwide.

The Thai auto industry needs about 500,000 workers, and needs around 30,000 new workers annually to meet the higher demand of car manufacturing at up to 250,000 units/year.

He also urged the government to consider finding solutions to the labour shortage issue.