Press "Enter" to skip to content

Instant Noodles and Economic Outrage: The Fiery Wage Hike Battle Inside Thailand’s Government!

Order Cannabis Online Order Cannabis Online

Imagine the scene: a group of passionate citizens holding a placard aloft, their cries for economic justice filling the air. In a powerful display of symbolism, one protester clutches a humble bowl of instant noodles—a poignant emblem of the financial struggle many in the country are facing. It was in July of last year that this tableau unfolded outside Government House, as voices were raised demanding an increase in the daily minimum wage for workers.

Cut to a vital development this past Sunday: the Ministry of Labour resolved to initiate deliberations with the tripartite committee responsible for approving wage adjustments. This action came hot on the heels of Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin’s comments, which dubbed the committee’s recent decision to hike wages by a slim margin of 2 to 16 baht as insufficient. The tripartite committee—comprised of the ministry, employers, and employees, sometimes referred to as the wage board—responded with a steadfast assertion that their decision was irrevocable, emphasizing the Prime Minister’s lack of authority to revise their ruling.

Following the Prime Minister’s remarks on Saturday, Mr. Pairoj Chotikasathien, the tireless permanent secretary for labour, suggested that the committee reassess the prospect of amending the new wage rates. This revision had been encouraged by none other than Mr. Srettha. Pairoj pointed out that the decision took into consideration regional economic conditions, which were evaluated by local wage sub-committees and later reviewed by a central committee that proposed new rates to the wage board. Additionally, he spoke of consulting with Labour Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn on whether the wage committee’s resolution should be presented to the cabinet as originally planned.

Atthayuth Leeyavanich, a wage committee member and spokesperson for employers, brought to light that each province’s economic climate influences the calculation of the wage increase. It seems the Prime Minister’s disapproval of the marginal 2-baht increase in provinces like Yala, Narathiwat, and Pattani might have been made without full awareness of the facts. For instance, Pattani’s wage sub-committee opted not to campaign for a raise at all, while Yala and Narathiwat both proposed a modest 2-baht increment. Out of economic parallels, the main wage board then resolved to augment Pattani’s minimum wage alike. Mr. Atthayuth reiterated, “The board’s resolution is final…it only requires forwarding to the cabinet as an official briefing, not an appeal for approval.”

However, if Pairoj were to invite the wage board to a discussion table concerning the Prime Minister’s commentary, Atthayuth voiced his belief that employer representatives might decline. Nonetheless, he expressed his willingness to clarify matters directly with the Prime Minister, should such a rarity occur.

In a testament to the independence of the wage committee, Suchart Chantaranakaracha, vice president of the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI), expressed gratitude towards Mr. Phiphat for allowing the decisions on new wage rates to be made autonomously during Friday’s meeting. Despite the Prime Minister’s stance, Suchart emphasized that no legal power is granted to him to overrule the lawful resolution achieved by the wage committee.

Should there be any necessity to redo the decision, Veerasuk Kaewboonpan, another employer representative on the committee, expressed that commencing from scratch with the provincial wage sub-committee would be mandatory—a process estimated to take two to three more months.

Addressing future wage rates, Veerasuk admitted that the desired increase to 400 baht proposed by some sectors of the government might be too ambitious currently. However, he did advocate for a compromise between the committee and the government to avoid potential conflicts. Further complicating the situation is the fact that about 500,000 unskilled Thai workers would benefit from the wage increase, while over 5 million other minimum wage earners are migrant workers. Veerasuk cautions that any uptick in wages might also hike consumer prices, thereby affecting every Thai resident’s cost of living. To sum it up, the delicate dance of wage negotiations continues—a balancing act between economic realities and the enduring quest for fair compensation.

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More from ThailandMore posts in Thailand »