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Phuket Snub as Discord Looms on 300 Baht Wage Push

Wednesday, March 21, 2012
PHUKET: With the introduction of a new 300 baht minimum wage only days away, organisations under the Human Resources Phuket banner are fuming at a snub by Labor Ministry officials from Bangkok yesterday.

About 120 people were left waiting when Bangkok officials failed to show up at a meeting scheduled for 2.30pm.

The representatives - from tourism and other sectors on Phuket - wanted to discuss the 300 baht minimum wage, immigrant workers, a fair deal for the handicapped and other important issues faced by Phuket.

''So painful, big shame'' was one entry on Facebook by a participant who was stood up.

The snub comes as the Thai Hotels Associaition and other groups prepare for the introduction of the 300 baht minimum wage from April 1 in Phuket, Bangkok and five other provinces.

One major concern is that Phuket resorts at the lower end of the scale will try to absorb service charges and tips into workers' wages to reduce the additional cost to employers of the minimum wage boost.

When assessed under the Democrat government system early last year, Phuket's minimum wage was 221 baht a day - the highest in Thailand.

Prices have continued to rise in the intervening months since then, so workers have been left to cope until April 1, when Phuket becomes a pioneer for the new minimum that will eventually be introduced nationwide.

Security guards, day laborers and those employed in menial tasks are expected to benefit most from the new deal. Some firms have already advised clients of their new pay scales.

There is concern that instead of looking to work on Phuket - where wages were once considered to be higher - many laborers will stay where they are and still win a 300-baht daily wage. But that will only happen if jobs can be found.

The most serious effects are likely to come in the provinces where people are paid least - where employers will be least able to afford the much larger proportionate rise in wages, and where jobs may be sacrificed.

Comments

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About 120 people were left waiting when Bangkok officials failed to show up at a meeting scheduled for 2.30pm. Weren't these folk the Labour Officials, the ones on the bus that crashed in Patong, on the 16 March 2012? Maybe they could not find safe reliable transport to get to the meeting?

Posted by Robin on March 21, 2012 12:40

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I don't understand the concern. Phuket has a staffing shortage. The typical additional cost for some of these workers is another 79baht. Either increase the room rates by 60 baht and some of the food prices by 11 baht, or stop pocketing all of the fees or trying to grab the workers gratuities. Better yet, maybe some of the operators can stop trying to bleed their businesses dry. 221 baht is not enough to live on on Phuket.

Posted by Ryan on March 22, 2012 08:50

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How one earth anyone can live in Phuket on 221 Baht a day I will never understand.
As a frequent visitor I have no problem if prices increase as suggested by Ryan. No problems at all.
Everyone should have a right to a living wage.

Posted by Arthur on March 24, 2012 11:11


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