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Workers in Thailand are calling for a minimum wage of 360 baht. Currently, minimum wage is set at 300 baht per day. Led by the Thai Labour Solidarity Committee (TLSC), workers are seeking higher wages to offset current economic conditions.
A recent study shows that 90% of workers are currently supporting another person that has no income.
The TLSC states that cost of living is rising, while wages remain stagnant. Food prices and basic utility charges are among the two examples of rising prices that are not taken into consideration under the current minimum wage.
Wilaiwan Sae Tia, the president of the TLSC, has asked the government to disband current labor committees. Tia states that these committees have not been representing their workers properly. According to Tia, the committees have not been seeking a guarantee wage adjustment and benefits that workers need.
The same study previously mentioned also asked the 2,900 participants about the average cost of living increase. Participants state that in August of 2013, the cost of living was 352 baht, but as of March 2015, the cost has risen to 360 baht.
Wilaiwan Sae Tia is calling on the government to make annual minimum wage adjustments. Tia further states that the slight increase is not what the workers truly deserve. Instead, she states that minimum wage should be 400 – 500 baht a day. Workers are currently able to survive off of overtime and additional work.
The minimum wage increase would make sense for the country. Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has asked all low-income people to register with the government. The registration would provide assistance to these families.
Registration will include names, assets and income so that the government could plan assistance measures that would be distributed after the current harvest season.
Wage increases would help alleviate some of the country’s assistance burdens in the future.