Minimum wage rise won’t improve standard of living: 4 in 10 workers

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BANGKOK, April 27 – Four in 10 Thai workers say that the government’s new Bt300 minimum wage for the capital and the surrounding region won’t improve their lot in life.

An opinion poll released Friday indicated that nearly 40 per cent of workers in Bangkok and its vicinity believe the Bt300 minimum wage rise will not improve their quality of life due to higher costs of goods.

Bangkok University’s BU Poll conducted by the Bangkok Poll Centre surveyed 1,180 persons aged over 18 on workers’ lives after the minimum wage rise.

Of the 39.3 per cent, 36 per cent viewed their living conditions will remain the same, while the rest viewed theirs will become worse. They asked the government to give reassurances on welfare matters (32 per cent), fair treatment by employers according to labour law (29 per cent), and on their living conditions (14 per cent).

However, six in ten–almost 61 per cent of those surveyed– viewed the wage rise will help improve their living conditions, but about 54 per cent of these respondents said the wage increase will not help reduce social disparities.

Seventy-nine per cent of workers said they have already received the wage rise, while those who have not said the companies they work for have not yet approved their higher wages.

On a related response, about half of those surveyed said they did not believe giving Bt300 wage/day to workers will make companies lose profits or go out of business.

Twenty-three per cent viewed the wage rise will help entrepreneurs gain higher profits, while 26 per cent viewed it will only create less profits to companies.

About 1 per cent said firms will suffer profit losses, while .08 per cent viewed entrepreneurs will stop their businesses.

Ninety-three per cent indicated they agreed with the nationwide minimum wage increase.

Meanwhile, around half of respondents said they were not worried of the fact that foreign workers might take the jobs of Thai people, while 31 per cent said they were much worried, and 17 per cent answered they were least concerned on the matter.