The caretaker labor minister has issued a warning to the incoming government regarding the potential risks associated with a proposed increase in the daily minimum wage to 450 baht. Minister Suchart Chomklin stressed the importance of consulting the wage committee before proceeding with any wage hike.
Emphasizing the significance of the wage committee, which comprises representatives from employees, employers, and the government, Minister Suchart urged the incoming labor minister to respect the consultation process. He explained that wage committees are also established at the provincial level, making it necessary to evaluate each region individually rather than implementing a uniform wage increase.
The minister highlighted the need to consider various economic factors, including the country’s GDP and inflation rate, when making such a crucial decision. He expressed concerns about the potential burden on an additional 50-60 million citizens if the minimum wage were to rise to 450 baht, emphasizing the importance of careful consideration.
Furthermore, Minister Suchart drew attention to the issue of vocational skills, particularly with approximately 2.4 million foreign workers currently residing in Thailand. Any adjustment in the minimum wage would need to apply to foreign workers as well. He noted that many foreign workers lack essential vocational skills, leading to increased costs and product prices.
To allow for a smoother transition, Minister Suchart recommended a gradual and natural course for wage increases, ensuring that everyone has sufficient time to adjust.
In addition to his warning, the minister announced that he would be summarizing the achievements of the Ministry of Labor over the past three years. These include notable accomplishments such as an increase in child care subsidies, amendments to the Elderly Fund regulation, and advancements in vocational skills.