Mr Chalee said his committee disagreed with the government’s plan to increase the daily minimum wage to 300 baht on only seven provinces on April 1 this year, and then raise the daily wage to 300 baht nationwide in 2013.
The government had promised a 300 baht daily wage on Jan 1, 2012, but failed to keep its word, he added.
He said prices of consumer goods have gone up due to the increase in fuel prices and the government has failed to control prices of essential products, while civil servants have been given pay increases.
The daily living cost of each worker was now about 348 baht. If they have family, their cost of living rises to 561.79 baht per day.
Therefore, the government should immediately raise the daily minimum wage to 300 baht for all workers across the country, said Mr Chalee.
Labour Minister Padermchai Sasomsap said he was not happy with comments by management of the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) about the impact of a wage increase.
FTI vice president Thanit Sorat said that lifting the minimum wage to 300 baht would result in a substantial increase in labour costs and manufacturers would not be able to shoulder it.
Mr Thanit said manufacturers might have no option but to move their production bases to other countries where the daily wage was one fourth the rate in Thailand.
Mr Padermchai said increasing the daily minimum wage of workers to 300 baht would raise production costs of manufacturers by only one per cent. This was minimal.
The government plans to compensate by offering a corporate tax reduction of 10 per cent for manufacturers, he added.
He said Mr Thanit should not make comments that could cause damage to the country.
The minister said he will soon meet with the FTI executive to discuss the real impact of the daily minimum wage increase.