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  1. #926
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    Siriraj feels pinch, plans charge hike | Bangkok Post: news

    Siriraj feels pinch, plans charge hike
    Feeling the pinch of the government's 300-baht minimum wage policy, Siriraj Hospital plans to charge more for its medical services.

    Udom Kachinthorn, dean of Siriraj Hospital's faculty of medicine, said the wage policy which took effect on Jan 1 is taking its toll on the hospital's finances.

    The hospital has to fork out 700-800 million baht to cover rising costs due to the policy, he said. Charges for beds and medical care are likely to increase to help the hospital cope. Dr Udom said the hospital has about 5,000 workers but has no plans to lay off staff.

    "We will follow the government's 300-baht wage policy and we assure everyone we will not lay off any staff despite a steep rise in costs," he said.

    He added that the government's policy aimed at reducing imported medicines would result in a loss of about 1 billion baht to the hospital.

    He said the hospital is studying the Public Health Ministry's service fee rates to decide how much more it can charge. Fees had not been increased to keep up with inflation for years.

    Dr Udom said Siriraj Hospital would also try to boost income through research work conducted with the private sector.
    "Slavery is the daughter of darkness; an ignorant people is the blind instrument of its own destruction; ambition and intrigue take advantage of the credulity and inexperience of men who have no political, economic or civil knowledge. They mistake pure illusion for reality, license for freedom, treason for patriotism, vengeance for justice."-Simón Bolívar

  2. #927
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    ^ Rather curious on this- who in a hospital works on minimum wage? In terms of a hospitals total wage bill, I would expect the gross emoluments paid to minimum wagers (cleaners, canteen ladies, bedpan scrubbers, who else?) to be a mere fraction that paid to higher earners- doctors, nurses, administrators etc. So a business of this nature (hardly a sweatshop) passing off a rise in their fees as being down to a rise in their minimum wage costs sounds nonsensical. "700-800 million baht to cover rising costs due to the policy"- pull the other one, it's got bells on. The rise is, what, 50 or 60 bht per minimum wage earner per day. How many million minimum wage earners do you employ there at the Siriraj?

    Oh, but then this is thrown in as an afterthought-
    Quote Originally Posted by StrontiumDog
    Fees had not been increased to keep up with inflation for years.
    The infamous bangkok paste strikes again.
    probes Aliens

  3. #928
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    Yesterday there was an announcement in the morning on the dreaded PA in the village saying something about the security guards. I didn't understand totally but picked up something about a fight and a factory. When the missus got back they shouted it out again around 8.30pm. All of the security had an argument with the HiSo people who run this shit house about wages demanding minimum wage, and they were told to fuck off, which they did, and went to work in a factory. I called the landlady and complained like fuck and she said this morning that they are now going to be replaced with burmese and they will arrive in a few days. It's a shame because 3 of them were good looking birds, although one did have a really bizarre squint.
    Originally Posted by bsnub "No wonder I drive a tesla"

  4. #929
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    PM says help on way for private firms | Bangkok Post: news

    PM says help on way for private firms

    Efforts are under way to help the private sector cope with the government's 300-baht wage hike policy, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra says.

    The National Economic and Social Development Board, the Finance Ministry and the Commerce Ministry have been told to get in on the act, Ms Yingluck said yesterday.

    The agencies are expected to hold a meeting with the private sector to discuss possible measures to be taken to cushion the impacts, she said. Some employers have complained the policy risks undermining their competitiveness.

    "We are closely monitoring the situation and considering steps to reduce risks. But there is no reason to get overly worried. We can work it out," the prime minister said.

    On Wednesday Ms Yingluck met top government officials to discuss the strengthening baht and gave assurances there was nothing to worry about.

    Ms Yingluck also yesterday called on critics not to see the government's populist schemes as cash hand-outs.

    She said the projects, which have been slammed for raising household debt, were designed to spur spending power and strengthen the economy as a whole.

    Meanwhile, the latest survey by the Economic and Business Forecast Centre of the Thai Chamber of Commerce University indicated that many small and medium enterprises (SMEs) would go under this year following the 300-baht wage increase policy unless they receive help from the government.

    The study, conducted among 600 SMEs during Jan 15-17, showed they were likely to survive no longer than seven months if the government did not help them cope with rising costs.


    -----
    Survey reveals small businesses risk closure due to wage hike | MCOT.net



    Survey reveals small businesses risk closure due to wage hike

    By Digital Media | 25 ม.ค. 2556 09:15

    BANGKOK, Jan 25 – This month's enforcement of Thailand's 300 baht minimum wage will force more than half the country's small businesses to close in the next six months if the government fails to take concrete action to remedy the situation, according to a university survey.

    The Economic and Business Forecast Centre of the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce conducted the survey Jan 15-17 by randomly interviewing 600 respondents. Two-thirds, some 68.5 per cent, said small businesses will have to close down or lay off workers in the next six months due to the excessive cost, and 68.7 per cent said they would have no choice but to increase prices of their products.

    Almost 40 per cent of manufacturers said their businesses have been negatively affected by the Bt300 daily wage since early this month.

    Criticising the government’s 16-point measures to relieve the manufacturers’ burden as failing to directly address the issue, 46.8 per cent said they could bear the surging cost at medium level for seven months at the most.

    On the government’s additional assistance, 27.5 per cent wanted subsidy for their expenses from the increased wage while 26.5 per cent asked the government to offer more reduction to corporate income tax.

    A survey of employees who have received the new Bt300 minimum wage indicated that 41.5 per cent were satisfied with the adjustment but wished the wage would be increased to an average Bt464.3 per day.

    Fifty-two per cent of the workers said the wage increase could not keep up with higher commodity prices in the next six months.

    Asked what they would do with the additional wage they received, 53.5 per cent said they would save some money. For those who spend money on shopping, 29.4 per cent said they would buy mobile phones, 26.6 per cent preferred clothing and 21.8 per cent opted for motorcycles.

    Eighty per cent of the workers said the minimum wage should be increased every year while 72.5 per cent said labour skills have not improved and 51 per cent did not believe the wage hike would compel businessmen to hire migrant workers.

    Sixty per cent said the Bt300 daily wage would lead to more joblessness among Thai workers and the majority wanted the government to provide better welfare for workers. (MCOT online news)

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    Ceramic factories break under added wage, LPG costs | Bangkok Post: news

    Lampang ceramic plants close doors

    Three ceramics plants in Lampang province, renowned for its pottery, have closed and others are for sale because the owners can't afford expensive fuel and higher wages, says the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI).


    A ceramics factory in Lampang appears nearly empty after its workforce was cut by more than half, from 100 to 45, after the 300-baht daily minimum wage took effect on Jan 1. (Photo by Aswin Wongnorkaew)

    More plants will close or be sold, says the FTI, as the operators struggle with liquefied petroleum gas prices that are more than 60% higher than they were two years ago, as well as the new 300-baht daily minimum wage.

    Successive governments have subsidised LPG for years but prices began to rise in stages last year. The fuel now costs 30.13 baht a kilogramme for industrial users, compared with the capped price of 18.13 baht less than two years ago.

    Fuel is a major input in ceramics production, and when coupled with higher wages, the cost made it hard for many producers to shoulder, said Atiphum Kamthornworarin, chairman of the provincial FTI chapter.

    Three plants in the northern province had already closed and posted "for sale" notices, he said.

    Other ceramics manufacturers who were still operating were also offering to sell their factories to anyone who wants to buy them, said Mr Atiphum.

    Manufacturers who had taken out loans to finance the running of their business would end up deeply in debt if they stayed in operation, he said. The best way to minimise losses and still have some money left for debt repayment or starting a new life was to sell their land and factory premises, he added.

    The only ceramic plants that could survive were large-scale manufacturers using new technology that substantially lessened the demand for workers, he said. Some plants had turned to replacing employees with their relatives, reducing labour and social security fund contribution costs.

    Mr Atiphum predicted that one in five ceramic plants in the northern province would be closed over the next three or four months. The only alternative would be for more than 2,000 workers to be gradually laid off over the period.


    Deputy Commerce Minister and red-shirt United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) co-leader Nattawut Saikuar (Photo by Surapol Promsaka na Sakolnakorn)

    Deputy Commerce Minister Nattawut Saikuar said he was aware of the situation but added that higher wages had nothing to do with two of the plants that closed.

    The Department of Business Development also found out that one of the plants had been up for sale since June 2002 but there was no transaction yet, Mr Nattawut said.

    Another operator, the minister said, was not selling the business but was only selling a plot of land next to the factory.

    In a related development, FTI chairman Payungsak Chartsuthipol said the Thai Industries Sentiment Index (TISI) rose to 98.8 in December from 95.2 in November. However, any reading below 100 shows below-average confidence, he added.

    Mr Payungsak said negative factors that could erode manufacturers' confidence included the 300-baht daily minimum wage and the persistent labour shortages.

    TMB Analytics said small and medium enterprises in the northern and northeastern regions were most affected by the wage increases that took effect on Jan 1, which were 20-40% above the old rates.

    The TMB Bank unit has calculated the average cost per business for 2012-13 from 70 provinces that recently adopted the new minimum wage. In the North and Northeast, business operating costs are now 3% higher than in other regions of the country, and average profits are about 2% lower.

    The industries that have been hardest hit by the wage hike are construction, food retailing, consumer products, auto repairs, paper, printing, farming, building materials, garments and hotels.

    TMB Analytics pointed out that the government's tax incentives were insufficient as most SMEs already paid low taxes compared to the labour cost including employment benefits and housing. As a result, they have to shoulder higher costs while struggling to cut other expenses.

    It says businesses must continue to improve quality and efficiency, while the government must introduce short-term programmes to help businesses that may not benefit from tax incentives.

  6. #931
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    Nattawut: SMEs will get wage help | Bangkok Post: breakingnews

    Nattawut pledges SME wage aid

    The government is ready to help small- and medium-sized enterprise (SMEs) affected by the increase in the daily minimum wage to 300 baht, Deputy Commerce Minister Nattawut Saikuar said on Saturday.

    Speaking on the weekly "Yingluck Government Meets the People" programme on NBT, Mr Nattawut said SMEs would be eligible for low-interest loans and the government would help them seek new export markets.

    The minister insisted that since the beginning of the year, no SMEs have been closed specifically because of the impact of the wage increase. He said most of the manufacturers that closed in December did so because of operating losses caused by other factors.

    However, the government will survey SMEs to assess the impact of higher labour costs in light of the increases that took effect on Jan 1. The information will be used to identify sectors and businesses that need assistance, said Mr Nattawut.

    On the same talk show, Prime Minister's Office Minister Niwatthamrong Bunsongphaisan said affected manufacturers could make requests via the special 1111 hotline (press 22), at Government House, or at provincial city halls across the country.

    Industry Minister Prasert Boonchaisuk said the wage increase would push up production costs by 5.75% for small manufacturers, 5.63% for medium-sized ones and 4.83% for large factories.

    Production costs have risen by 5.38% on average which is not too high, he added.

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    Ailing smaller entrepreneurs allocated Bt200 million aid | MCOT.net



    Ailing smaller entrepreneurs allocated Bt200 million aid


    By English News | 12 ก.พ. 2556 08:26

    BANGKOK, Feb 12 – Bt200 million will be earmarked from the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) Fund to assist smaller businesses which have been affected by the enforcement of the Bt300 daily minimum wage, according to Thailand's minister of finance.

    Deputy Prime Minister/Finance Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong said the allocation can be made without having to seek cabinet approval.

    The financial aid will be made in parallel to existing assistance provided by a committee headed by Minister of the Prime Minister’s Office Niwattumrong Boonsongpaisan.

    Industry Minister Prasert Boonchaisuk said the SME Committee, which met Monday, agreed to allocate Bt310 million to help small and medium enterprises.

    He said Bt200 million will be set aside for the interest payments of 6,300 SME operators whose manufacturing costs have surged after the minimum wage hike, while Bt25 million will be spent for development of SMEs manufacturing quality, Bt10 million to create opportunities for new operators, Bt6 million for the SME clinical scheme and Bt1.8 million for SME Fund service.

    Representatives of the Federation of Thai Industries, however, warned that the allocation is insufficient to relieve the plight of SME operators, but noted that the Industry Ministry will provide additional budget for the aid. (MCOT online news)

    -----
    52,000 Thai workers lose jobs from minimum wage hike | MCOT.net



    52,000 Thai workers lose jobs from minimum wage hike


    By English News | 12 ก.พ. 2556 08:30

    BANGKOK, Feb 12 – More than 52,000 employees under Thailand's social security scheme have applied for unemployment benefits due to losing their jobs in the wake of the country's minimum wage hike, Labour Minister Phadermchai Sasomsub said.

    He said the figure of 52,426 jobless former employees was compiled from Jan 1 to Feb 4. The daily minimum wage of Bt300 was implemented nationwide Jan 1.

    He said the Social Security Fund had paid about Bt1.13 billion to the unemployed workers.

    Among the workers affected, 3,735 were laid off, 10,989 resigned, 484 were not entitled to social security fund assistance, and 34,408 had yet to be formally notified of their employment termination by their employers. (MCOT online news)

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    Thai Bankruptcies Rise as Minimum Wage Rolls Out: Southeast Asia - Bloomberg

    Thai Bankruptcies Rise as Minimum Wage Rolls Out: Southeast Asia

    By Suttinee Yuvejwattana & Sharon Chen - Feb 27, 2013 12:00 AM GMT+0700

    Confederate International Co., a Thai family-owned maker of nightwear, lost a German customer of 22 years after last month’s minimum-wage increase in the Southeast Asian nation raised costs.

    “They stopped talking to us, even though we have done business together for a long time,” said Veerayuth Sookhattako, 57, owner of the Chiang Mai-based company that ships about 80 million baht ($2.7 million) of apparel to Germany and France each year. “I established this company 28 years ago. I don’t want to let it go, but I may need to close down our business by the end of the year if we can’t get new orders.”


    Yingluck Shinawatra, Thailand's prime minister. Photographer: Dario Pignatelli/Bloomberg

    Veerayuth isn’t alone. Last quarter, 7,221 Thai companies closed down, 27 percent higher than in the same period a year earlier, when the worst floods in 70 years swamped most of the country. The figure is also more than double the average of 3,000 in the previous nine years, according to data from the National Economic & Social Development Board.

    Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s government raised the daily minimum wage to 300 baht throughout the country last month, after a similar increase in April in seven provinces including Bangkok. Before the increase, minimum wages ranged from 159 baht in northern Phayao province to 221 baht in Phuket, according to the Labour Protection and Welfare Department.

    Government stimulus measures, including the wage rise and increased payments to farmers, come as the country’s manufacturers struggle with a stronger baht and slowing export demand amid a global slowdown.

    Baht Strength

    “The problem with the Thai minimum-wage hike is there might be competitiveness issues because this will lead to high costs for firms and if there’s no way to offset these costs, it translates into higher inflation for consumers,” said Eugene Leow, a Singapore-based economist at DBS Group Holdings Ltd. “There’s also some concern about how strong the Thai baht is.”

    The baht is the biggest gainer this year among 11 widely- traded Asian currencies tracked by Bloomberg. The Bank of Thailand held the benchmark rate for a third straight meeting this month even after Finance Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong renewed calls for lower borrowing costs to discourage inflows that boosted the baht to a 17-month high in January.

    Wages in Asia almost doubled between 2000 and 2011, according to the International Labor Organization, and workers from China to Indonesia have pushed for more pay in recent years to counter rising living expenses. The increases will permanently increase business costs, forcing companies to boost prices, according to a report from HSBC Holdings Plc.

    ‘Fundamental Change’

    “Lately, far more persistent and permanent costs have shot up -- wage pressures are now ubiquitous across Asia’s factories,” HSBC economists Frederic Neumann and Julia Wang wrote in a report last month. “A rise in wages is permanent and should thus prompt a fundamental change in pricing.”

    Thailand’s small and medium-sized enterprises will suffer the most from higher wages because they’re labor intensive and don’t earn enough to benefit from reduced corporate income tax rates, according to the government and the central bank.

    Costs for Thai companies will rise 6.39 percent on average because of the wage increase, according to state planning agency NESB. Costs will climb 0.57 percent for large companies, and as much as 17.8 percent for small companies, it said.

    There are more than 2.9 million small and medium enterprises across Thailand, according to 2011 government data. They account for 99.8 percent of all businesses in the country and generate employment for 9.7 million people, or almost 80 percent of all jobs. These businesses earn 3.5 trillion baht annually, or more than a third of GDP.

    Beneficial Effects

    Even with factories closing down, Thailand’s unemployment rate is still among the lowest in the world, standing at 0.48 percent in the fourth quarter, down from 0.63 percent in the same period in 2011.

    While higher wages will increase costs for businesses and boost inflation, they will also improve the purchasing power of consumers and help bolster economic growth, said Fred Gibson, a Sydney-based economist at Moody’s Analytics.

    “By raising the minimum wage, you’re also allowing lower- income households to consume and this will help lift consumer spending,” he said. “It’s a trend we’re seeing across the region, as governments try and spread the beneficial effects of growth. Having a higher minimum wage also is one of the steps that helps you transition into higher value-added manufacturing because there’s more incentives.”

    The salary increase boosted labor income by 16.5 percent in the fourth quarter last year, while product prices rose 3.2 percent, according to NESDB. Labor productivity rose an average of 2.3 percent in the last 10 years.

    Cheap Products

    “Productivity rose much slower than wages,” Suwannee Khamman, deputy secretary general at NESDB, said yesterday at a briefing in Bangkok. “This is not good. It means that we will continue to produce cheap products, while our costs are higher.”

    Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy grew a faster-than- expected 6.4 percent last year. Gross domestic product is forecast by the government to rise 4.5 percent to 5.5 percent this year, with export growth predicted to be 11 percent.

    For Veerayuth, whose business in Chiang Mai employs 140 workers, the benefits aren’t yet apparent. “My clients said they can’t understand why our country raised wages drastically like this,” he said. “It should be done step by step.”

  9. #934
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    The ThB 300 minimum wage has been held accountable for many price hikes recently, ranging from the proposed BTS far increase to additional charges for housekeeping where staff are traditionally poorly paid.

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    Same old same old. Rising wages is but one major reason why the jobs migrated from the West to Asia in the first place. Now the workers are becoming less competative (in terms of price for their labour) its time for Burma and Lao to become the recipients as Thailand watches itself fall behind. Another Toxin nail in Thailand's coffin

  11. #936
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    minimum wage hike hits small businesses

    BANGKOK, April 13 –

    Thailand’s small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are in deep trouble, with 80 percent reporting losses in this year’s first quarter and 10 per cent on the verge of shutdown, an industrial organisation said on Friday.

    Thanit Sorat, secretary general of the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI), said the nationwide increase of daily minimum wage to Bt300 since January 1 has struck a heavy blow on SMEs – almost one third of which admitted to suffering from financial constraint.

    In a survey by FTI with SMEs operators on the impact of the minimum wage hike, 42.02 per cent said they would hire less workers, 20.28 per cent would scale down production and 15.94 per cent were considering layoffs. Among those contemplating layoffs, 13.04 per cent said they would possibly relocate their production bases elsewhere.

    Mr Thanit said the survey was aimed at assessing feedback on the plight of SMEs in order to seek government assistance if necessary.

    He said it will take some time to obtain a clearer picture on the employment situation and SMEs’ financial and operational status, as some unemployed workers may find new jobs at larger industrial enterprises or non-Thai businesses which receive promotional privileges from the Board of Investment (BoI).

    Mr Thanit added that 58 per cent of SMEs affected by the higher labour cost have adjusted through various measures such as reduction of work force, working hours and welfare while enhancing labour and production productivity.

    Sixty per cent of manufacturers said they would maintain their bases in Thailand while 26 per cent were considering relocating to neighbouring countries with cheaper labour costs, including Cambodia, Myanmar and Laos PDR.

    Regarding government assistance, 50 per cent said they have never received any contributions from the state, while 28 per cent said government-issued measures did help, but on a small scale.

    They called on the government to subsidise part of their labour costs and offer low-interest loans.

    On the impact of the new minimum wage, 54 per cent of the entrepreneurs said their overall manufacturing costs increased by 15 per cent, 24 per cent saw an increase by 7-10 per cent, and 18 per cent found the impact minor at 3-5 per cent. Only 4 per cent of the manufacturers said they did not feel the pinch from the wage hike.

    During Q1, 52.94 per cent of the enterprises surveyed said they could increase their product prices but only slightly, while 47 per cent had to maintain the same prices. (MCOT online news)


    -- TNA 2013-04-13

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    Thailand in turmoil over increase in minimum wage
    RYOSUKE ONO
    October 03, 2013

    BANGKOK--Tens of thousands of small factories across Thailand are battling for survival after the government raised the minimum daily wage.

    Instead of making life better for ordinary laborers, as intended, the policy has had the opposite effect.

    Small and midsize factories, especially in outlying areas, are reeling from the decision to enforce a minimum wage of 300 baht (930 yen, or $9). Many have had to close.

    Thailand's northern province of Lampang is famous for making ceramics. Yet, factories and workshops there are often empty of workers.

    According to Wongchai Srithai, vice president of the Lampang Ceramic Association, the group's membership has fallen by one-third, from 300 to 200 ceramics makers, in the past year or so.

    "The number of workers has halved from 12,000. Small and midsize businesses and micro-enterprises are no exception," he said. "They are grappling with whether to shut down their factories."

    The policy was a centerpiece of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra's campaign platform. Her administration took office after her party's victory in the 2011 general election.

    In the first phase of the minimum wage increase in April 2012, the rate was raised to 300 baht in seven provinces, including Bangkok, where it was already relatively high. It went up by 40 percent in the remaining provinces.

    Then in January of this year, the increase to 300 baht was fully implemented in all provinces. Japanese companies operating in Thailand are also affected as they are having difficulty securing labor.

    DECLINING COMPETITIVENESS

    In Tak Province, in Thailand's northwest, the situation is the same for garment factories. A 31-year-old man who started a sewing plant for children's apparel five years ago closed his factory in May.

    "This region depends on laborers from Myanmar, but as soon as the government decided to raise the minimum wage, workers started heading for the cities," the man said. "We lost the advantage of low wages, orders decreased, and when we got rid of overtime to hold down personnel costs, we couldn't process the remaining orders efficiently."

    Each province in Thailand used to set its own minimum wage, with more remote regions being cheaper. This was the source of rural industry's competitiveness. The new system introduced by the Yingluck Shinawatra administration, however, is unusual in that it raised the minimum wage nationwide, regardless of each area's stage of economic development or price levels.

    The minimum wage in Lampang Province went up 81 percent from 165 baht between April 2012 and this past January. In Tak Province, it rose 85 percent from 162 baht.

    Before April 2012, when the first stage of wage increases was implemented, the Dhurakij Pundit University Research Center surveyed 685 owners of small and midsize factories across Thailand.

    It found that the smaller the company, the less room it had to absorb the effects of the wage increase, and 12.5 percent of respondents replied that they had been forced to close.

    Roughly 300,000 companies run small, medium and micro factories in Thailand, and the survey results indicate the possibility that between 50,000 and 70,000 of them will be forced to suspend operations.

    GOING UNDERGROUND

    Some managers are trying to deal with the issue by shifting from labor intensive business models and introducing automated machinery and streamlined production lines.

    Others, however, are apparently operating outside the law.

    One example is the "underground concealment model." In such cases, a company will lay off most of its employees at a factory but continue operating it.

    The company then create a separate production facility that is not registered as a company and transfers the laid-off workers there, where they are forced to work for less than 300 baht per day.

    The laborers, now officially unemployed, turn up because at least they have the offer of work, albeit for less than the minimum wage.

    Another is the "outsourcing model," by which a company will get its laborers, such as those who sew clothes, to take their sewing machines home, then terminate their employment contract and conclude an outsourcing contract for the work.

    This way the worker is not covered by the minimum wage.

    The policy is causing higher wages throughout supply chains, and prices for goods and services are beginning to rise as well.

    According to Ministry of Commerce statistics, prices for food essentials such as vegetables, fruits and meats rose by 6 to 10 percent this past June compared with a year ago, striking a serious blow to low-income earners.

    Kiatanan Luankaew, director of the Dhurakij Pundit University Research Center, said: "The policy weakens the small and midsize business enterprises that support the Thai economy. It's reckless to raise the minimum wage nationwide in so short a time frame.

    "Populist politics might attract votes, but the results are transient. Wages are not going up for a while, but inflation continues. Poor laborers may be the victims of this policy," he added.

    ajw.asahi.com

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    Add a very high increase in the cost of living. Who would have guessed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by StrontiumDog View Post
    Thai Bankruptcies Rise as Minimum Wage Rolls Out: Southeast Asia - Bloomberg

    Thai Bankruptcies Rise as Minimum Wage Rolls Out: Southeast Asia

    By Suttinee Yuvejwattana & Sharon Chen - Feb 27, 2013 12:00 AM GMT+0700

    Confederate International Co., a Thai family-owned maker of nightwear, lost a German customer of 22 years after last month’s minimum-wage increase in the Southeast Asian nation raised costs.

    “They stopped talking to us, even though we have done business together for a long time,” said Veerayuth Sookhattako, 57, owner of the Chiang Mai-based company that ships about 80 million baht ($2.7 million) of apparel to Germany and France each year. “I established this company 28 years ago. I don’t want to let it go, but I may need to close down our business by the end of the year if we can’t get new orders.”


    Even with factories closing down, Thailand’s unemployment rate is still among the lowest in the world, standing at 0.48 percent in the fourth quarter, down from 0.63 percent in the same period in 2011.



    For Veerayuth, whose business in Chiang Mai employs 140 workers, the benefits aren’t yet apparent. “My clients said they can’t understand why our country raised wages drastically like this,” he said. “It should be done step by step.”
    I don't suppose that Veerayuth had factored in how the low rate of pay in the previous 27 years of his companies earnings had brought about his profits? Now it's time for payback, literally.

    I can't help thinking that that customer of 22 years standing didn't just go walkabout because of the minimum earnings being raised as alleged - Veerayuth more than likely just pinned the rise on top "because he didn't have any choice" i.e there's no way I'm taking a loss on this - capitalist karma.

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    Said this before in a much earlier post, try ad find workers [Thai] on minimum wage.
    Just too many jobs out there, Thais will work in happy places, but 300 Baht is a lazy caretaker, not a good worker. Jim

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    Quote Originally Posted by jamescollister View Post
    Said this before in a much earlier post, try ad find workers [Thai] on minimum wage.
    Just too many jobs out there, Thais will work in happy places, but 300 Baht is a lazy caretaker, not a good worker. Jim
    Strange old country. I know a few degree holders in their 30's in BKK working for 10k a month.

    And when I say working I mean from morning 'til night with pressure added on for fun.

    I would put it on Thai culture. From the provinces, hired years ago by a very well to do big name in bangkok. Get a trip away once or twice a year, get told how great they are, get a sponsored smart-phone after 10 years of service etc.

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    Why would a rise in minimum wage result in Japanese companies having a problem "securing workers"? Were they paying even shittier wages than the small Thai-Chinese family-run companies?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Sawyer View Post
    Why would a rise in minimum wage result in Japanese companies having a problem "securing workers"? Were they paying even shittier wages than the small Thai-Chinese family-run companies?
    Think most of the out cry is not about the 300 Baht, more about the word wage.
    Wage earners pay tax, employers have to pay into the social security fund and provide some private health care, plus worker injury insurance.
    Paper trail for the tax man, better to pay cash in hand, small factory, 3 employees, but 20 workers not on the books.
    Just the western ways coming. Jim

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    ^
    Good points

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    There is a problem with minimum wage, it always hurts the entry level workers without many skills. They will not get employed if it costs too much. Plenty of studies about this in US.

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