Thais increase migrant wages

Mom Kunthear / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
These Cambodian workers on a Thai construction site in Bangkok now earn a little more than they used to. Reuters

The Thai Labor Ministry has increased the minimum wage for Cambodian migrant workers since the start of the year, however civil society officials say there are both pros and cons to the salary increase.
A notice published yesterday and signed by Labor Minister Ith Samheng, who also chairs the committee that helps Cambodian workers become legal in Thailand, said the Thai Labor Ministry hiked the minimum wage and limited working hours for Cambodian workers in Thailand from January 1.
However, the rate of the salary rise varies between Thai provinces.
Mr. Samheng confirmed that the minimum wage amounted to 310 baht (about $8.80) per day for Cambodian workers in Bangkok and six adjacent provinces. The daily wage is 308 baht in 13 provinces, 305 baht in 49 provinces and 300 baht in eight others.
However, Mr. Samheng did not specify the provinces where Cambodians were employed.
The Thai Labor Ministry also set a maximum of seven hours per day for Cambodian workers in jobs that affected their health and safety, such as construction sites or factories that used chemicals. The maximum for normal jobs was set at eight hours per day.
According to a report from Cambodia’s Labor Ministry last month, more than 1.15 million Cambodians were working abroad in 2016, including 1,056,358 in Thailand alone.
This figure includes about 310,000 people who have yet to receive legal documents.
Center for Alliance of Labor and Human Rights program officer Dy Thehoya told Khmer Times yesterday that the minimum wage increase for Cambodian workers was not large, but was seen as a positive sign.
He added that the wage rise provision was only for legal Cambodian workers. Illegal workers who have yet to receive a pink card or have yet to obtain official documents will not receive the new wage.
“What I know from Cambodians who work there is that they generally get paid 300 baht per day,” Mr. Thehoya said.
He added that there were both advantages and disadvantages to the minimum wage increase, saying that it would be good if Cambodian and Thai workers received the same wage.
However, he said more Cambodians would migrate to Thailand once they knew of the wage increase and they could face being deceived by brokers who promise to obtain passports and do the official paperwork for them.

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