Pattaya Daily News

07 January 2013 :: 17:01:30 pm 70126

Migrants Flooding The Kingdom After Wage Hike Law

An influx of foreign workers from bordering countries are pouring into Thailand after the 300-baht minimum wage took effect. The new law affects all 76 provinces and is expected to immediately benefit 3 million workers.
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The impact of Thailand’s new 300-baht per day minimum wage can be seen in the surge of migrant workers coming into Thailand, said Mr. Sombat Juengtrakul, vice president of theThai-Cambodian border Tourism and Trade department in Chanthaburi.

He said an informal count revealed that more than 4,000 Cambodians have walked through the border checkpoint since the new law passed yesterday, a number far higher than has occurred before.

Nearly all of the Cambodians were headed to the provinces of Kabinburi, Pracheenburi, Ayudhaya, Chacherngsao, and Chonburi, as well as the many provinces with industrial estates to work in the factories for the 300 baht wage, he said.

Previously, many Thai companies have avoided trying to pay the 300 baht wage. A lot of small and medium-sized enterprises in Chanthaburi resorted to hiring only temporary migrant workers who were not staying long in Thailand.

The temporary workers were given an increased daily wage from 150 baht to 200 baht per day for their labor. But if the migrant workers were living a long time in Thailand, the factories would have to pay them 300 baht a day, which they considered too high to pay.

However, the entrepreneurs in Ranong who employed migrant workers have been gradually adjusting to the 300 baht minimum wage. The Ranong Chamber of Commerce estimated that this year, there will be more than a million Burmese migrants flooding across the border into Thailand.

The reason is because the wages in Myanmar average about 30 baht per day, or 900 baht per month — which is 10 times less than the new 300-baht minimum wage in Thailand.

Since the new law took effect, Minister Mr. Phadermchai Sasomsap from the Ministry of Labor confirmed that laborers across the country must now be paid at least 300 baht per day. The intent of the new law is to enhance the quality of life of workers in order to step into ASEAN economic community, or AEC, in 2015, he said.

The Ministry will monitor the situation closely for any entrepreneurs trying to avoid paying the minimum wage. If they are discovered, the Ministry will file documents to warn the entrepreneurs to follow the law.

Mr. Nitas Seenon, the Labor Committee chairman of the House of Representatives, said that he believed that the government can solve the problems that result from the new wage minimum, which was initially begun in 7 provinces.

He has followed the minimum-wage issue for a long time. He found in his research that the entrepreneurs wanted to cooperate with the new law. But the problem is they cannot afford to big pay hikes if it is abruptly forced upon them.

So the government has to get involved to help businesses find ways to gradually solve the problem of higher labor costs, he said. On the positive side, he believes the new minimum wage law will immediately benefit at least 3 million workers in Thailand.

Photo : Internet   Category : Thailand News

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