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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs   19 April  2012

Thai wage increase policy affecting industries adversely

19 April, 2012

The Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) is concerned about labour shortage in many provinces that have not yet increased the daily minimum wage to 300 baht (US$9.7) as labourers are flocking to the seven provinces that have already raised the daily wage.

Sukij Kongpiyacharn, chairman of the FTI's Garment Industry Club, said that both Thai and foreign labourers in many plants are seeking work in the seven provinces that are paying the higher minimum daily wage of Bt300 as stipulated by the government.

The development has affected the growth of many industries located in areas not covered by the wage hike. Employers in many industries such as garments, food, electronics, and small and medium-sized enterprises are now facing a serious shortage of labour, said Sukij.

The policy to raise the daily minimum wage to 300 baht has been implemented in Bangkok, Phuket, Nakhon Pathom, Samut Prakan, Samut Sakhon, Pathum Thani, and Nonthaburi since April 1. The minimum wage will be increased in the remaining provinces next year.

Sukij pointed out that if the government did not urgently take measures to solve the problem, many factories in other provinces will have to shut down their operations as they cannot afford to pay more to retain their labourers.

Singh Tangcharoenchaichana, FTI's chairman for the Central region, said that the government's policy to raise the wage to 300 baht in different provinces has led to labour trouble for enterprises.

Both Thais and foreigners are shifting to work in the seven provinces or their employers must pay the higher wage, he said.

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