Call for minimum wage rise

national May 16, 2014 00:00

By The Nation

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A group of part-time fast food workers in Bangkok's Bang Kapi area yesterday called for the Bt300 minimum daily wage to be hiked to Bt450.

The 20 workers said their rally was part of a call from fast food workers worldwide for a pay hike.
Previously, the United States-based Fast Food Workers’ Union got an hourly pay hike to US$15 (Bt480) from the federal minimum $7.25 (Bt232).
A source at a Thailand-based Fast Food Workers’ Union said 30 per cent staff at Thai fast food chains were full-time workers paid Bt300 daily and the rest were part-timers paid Bt40 per hour. 
While acknowledging that the US workers’ pay raise could not be applied to Thailand due to different currency and economy, the source said the Thai government should adjust the daily wage from Bt300 to be Bt450 so that the part-timers’ pay could also increase accordingly.
However, Department of Labour Protection and Welfare deputy chief Suvit Sumala said Thailand didn’t have a law on a part-time pay rate but let it up to employers to decide. 
However, he said that the Labour Protection Act 1998 required part-time workers to paid the equivalent of the Bt300 daily minimum wage, except for students who earned Bt40 per hour and could work only up to four hours per day. 
A pay hike for part-timers would mean the daily wage must be hiked too, which was not possible for the time being, he said. 
This is because the government has just increased the daily wage to Bt300 recently, resulting to employers having greater cost while the economy is slowing down, he added.