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Thailand: Bosses and unions discuss Phuket's B300 wage
The Phuket News

September 27, 2011
View the Original Article

PHUKET: Representatives of employers and employees in Phuket met today at Phuket Provincial Hall to thrash out recommendations to Bangkok over the new minimum wage for the island.

Phuket is one of seven provinces chosen by the government to launch the new B300 minimum wage, expected to come into force on the island on January 1 next year.

The meeting was closed to the press but afterwards Vijit Dasantad, President of the Phuket Hotel and Services Union, said the meeting, also attended by Phuket Governor Tri Augkaradacha and the Chief of the Provincial Labour Office, Sutthipong Saisakaret, had discussed whether the amount should be B300 a day or B309.

The B309 minimum is based on a 40 per cent increase recommended by the Ministry of Labour for the seven vanguard provinces. In Phuket the minimum wage is currently B221.

Mr Vijit said that five representatives from each side were at the meeting, and that the workers’ representatives felt B300 was “sufficient”.

“Our view is that a rise in the minimum wage will result in a rise in the cost of living. Workers still need to buy products, and most of what they buy is at retail prices.

“It is reasonable if the minimum wage increases to B300. But we have to wait for a decision from the government and the relevant authorities.”

Mr Vijit said the employers’ representatives at the meeting wanted to send a message to the government that it should have a clear plan for helping businesses that suffer when the new wage rate becomes effective.

With Phuket’s minimum wage set to rise before most of the rest of Thailand, Mr Vijit added: “We believe the new rate will attract a lot of people to Phuket looking for jobs [at the higher rate].

“This will be a good chance for local businesses, because they will have a wider selection of employees to choose from.”