Workers group want Thailand to raise daily wages to 700 baht

Workers’ lobby groups wants the Thai government to raise daily wages for all workers, including local and foreign, to 700 baht (nearly K 28,500) from the current about 350 baht per day to commensurate with the rising cost of living.

The Thailand labor unions, the State Enterprise Workers Relation Confederation, Thai Labour Solidarity Committee and Migrant Workers Rights Network (MWRN) collectively demanded for a wage revision during the ‘World Day for Decent Work’ that was held on October 7.

“We and the Thai labour organisations asked for this wage according to the ILO convention, because the ILO convention states that a man’s wage should be enough to support his family members,”  MWRN’s president U Aung Kyaw told The Myanmar Times yesterday.

The workers’ organisations have also urged Thailand to sign and abide to the ILO conventions No. 87 (freedom of Association)and 98 (Right to Organise).

U Aung Kyaw said that a worker must be paid 712 baht to match the current cost of living in Thailand based on their calculations.

“We asked for 360 baht as daily wage last year. However, the Thai government added extra 10 baht to the daily wage of 300 baht. So, we have to demand for better benefits for the workers,” U Aung Kyaw said.

Currently, Thai employers pay about 305 to 310 baht as daily wage for each worker, while some factories pay between 320 and 350 baht, which is more than the fixed daily wage for a worker, according to MWRN.

“700 baht is impossible as daily wage here. But, daily wages should be between 450 to 500 baht now a days,” said Ko Shwe Tun Aye, chair of Migrants Workers Network (Phuket).

He also said that some Thai factories are paying 400 to 450 baht as daily wage and some Myanmar skilled workers earn that amount in Thailand.

According to the migrant rights groups and officials, an estimated four million Myanmar nationals are working in Thailand at present. Among them about 700,000 do not have any valid work documents.

By: Zaw Zaw Htwe, Myanmar Times

Published on: 11 October 2017

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