ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Thai government told to keep out of wage debate
The minimum-wage debate should be handled by the tripartite Central Wage Committee, business leaders said yesterday.
The Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking (JSCCIB) issued the declaration following a meeting to discuss Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva's proposal to lift the minimum wage to 250 a day, 21 percent more than the 206 baht now paid in Bangkok.
The JSCCIB is composed of members of the Thai Bankers Association, the Thai Chamber of Commerce and the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI).
FTI secretary-general Sommat Khunset said the Central Wage Committee, which contains government, employer and the labour representatives from each province, considered various factors such as economic growth, inflation and the ability of employers to pay, adding that each region of the country had different conditions.
The committee reviews wages every December.
If the minimum wage increased to 250 baht, Mr Sommat added, some small businesses would cease to function, while some large-scale businesses would have difficulty surviving.
The minimum wage exceeds 200 baht in Bangkok and six other provinces, and is 151 to 184 baht elsewhere.
FTI vice-chairman Chen Namchaisiri declined to comment, saying that making assumptions would be seen as putting pressure on the wage committee.
Others see government pressure as being driven by political concerns.
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