Wage panel seeking ways to reduce impact from wage rise policy

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BANGKOK, 15 August 2011 – The Central Wage Committee has instructed the Social Security Office to find measures to minimize the effects from the Government’s policy to raise the daily minimum wage to 300 THB.

In his capacity as Chairman of the Central Wage Committee, Permanent Secretary for Labor Somkiat Chayasriwong stated that the committee did not decide to increase the minimum wage during its meeting today but only gathered opinions and suggestions on the matter from related sides, including state officials, entrepreneurs and employees, as well as potential methods for minimizing the impact from the wage hike policy. He said all feedbacks would be forwarded to Labor Minister Padermchai Sasomsap in due course.

In addition, Mr Somkiat has tasked all provincial social security offices across the country to conduct a survey on the number of workers being paid under 300 THB a day or 9,000 THB a month in their area as well as the local cost of living. The results are expected within the next 1-2 days and will be used as part of the study on the minimum wage rise policy.

During the committee meeting, entrepreneurs insisted that wage adjustments should be executed in a gradual manner over a period of 2-3 years so as to avoid causing their production and transportation costs to skyrocket. However, workers voiced a contradicting opinion, saying they had been coping with underpayment for a long time and the daily minimum wage should be pushed up to as high as 400 THB, considering the high living expenses today.