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Labour groups demand a 360-baht uniform wage rate nationwide

The Thai Labour Reconciliation Committee, the Federation of State Enterprise Labour Relations and workers' network have jointly declared their demand a 360-baht uniform daily minimum wage rate to be applicable throughout the country.

Representatives of the labour groups made their joint declaration before they were due to meet with Labour Minister Pol Gen Adul Saengsingkaeo to discuss the minimum wage issue.

Currently, the highest minimum wage rate is 310 baht enforceable in seven provinces, including Bangkok Metropolis, Nakhon Pathom, Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, Phuket, Samut Prakan and Samut Sakhon.

Besides the 360-baht/day uniform minimum wage rate to be enforceable nationwide, the labour groups also demanded the dissolution of all provincial labour subcommittees; setting up a wage structure with the minimum wage to be adjusted annually; setting up a national-level wage committee comprising all stakeholders and not just the three parties of workers, employers and government officials; and measures to control prices of consumer products at proper levels.

A source close to the Thai Labour Reconciliation Committee claimed a recent survey of the debt problem of workers showed at each worker has an average daily debt amounting to 225 baht 87 satang.

This debt problem among the workers, said the source, resulted in poor quality of life of workers and affected the country's economic system.

The source went on saying that the Labour Ministry has not yet resolved whether minimum wage should be adjusted up and by how much and the ministry has not scheduled a meeting to discuss the issue after a planned meeting on December 18 was put off indefinitely.

Meanwhile, Mr Yongyuth Wongchalam, director of labour development research of Thailand Development Research Institute, admitted that the demand for a uniform wage rate was very unlikely to be accepted because the overall economy has not fully recovered and job vacancies have declined.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)