Government Initiates Discussions with Employers and Workers
The government is considering urging employers to raise the minimum daily wage to 400 baht as soon as possible to help workers make ends meet, according to Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin. He states that negotiations will involve workers, employers, and the government to determine a reasonable minimum wage level, with the aim of achieving the 400 baht goal as swiftly as possible.
The wage increase is part of the government’s economic stimulus measures and was a pledge of the ruling Pheu Thai Party during the election campaign. The party has also promised to raise the minimum daily wage to 600 baht by 2027.
Low Unemployment Rate and Migrant Workers
The prime minister highlights that the country is fortunate to have an unemployment rate of just 1%. He emphasizes that the labor demand remains high, necessitating reliance on migrant workers. He adds that the government plans to protect the rights and dignity of migrant workers while providing them with welfare and safety. A one-stop service center will be established to streamline documentation processes for these workers.
Economic Stimulus Measures
Aside from wage increases, other economic stimulus measures include new tourism drives and reduced energy prices for households and logistics operators. The Energy Ministry will be instructed to take urgent action in lowering utility bills.
Rights and Protection for Taxi and Motorcycle Taxi Drivers
Addressing concerns related to taxi and motorcycle taxi drivers, the prime minister assures that government relief measures cover these drivers, along with delivery riders and transport operators. The government will aim to ensure fair rates for drivers of both motorcycles and cars.
The Transport Ministry is also exploring the possibility of developing a government-owned ride-hailing application to support taxi and motorcycle taxi drivers.
In response to criticism regarding the lack of a detailed labor policy, the prime minister reiterates his commitment to raising the minimum daily wage and improving protection for workers. He is also urged to consider a daily minimum wage of 600 baht and a 25,000-baht salary for graduates with bachelor’s degrees.
The Role of the Tripartite National Wage Committee
Suchart Chantaranakaracha, the vice-chairman overseeing labor affairs at the Federation of Thai Industries, emphasizes that any wage increase must be evaluated by the tripartite national wage committee, which includes representatives from employers, employees, and various state agencies. Factors to be considered include inflation, labor productivity, employers’ ability to pay wages, and economic growth.
The current daily minimum wage varies between provinces, ranging from 328 to 354 baht. The most recent wage increase took place in October of the previous year, with the highest daily rate of 354 baht approved for Chon Buri, Rayong, and Phuket.