Labour Day in Thailand

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Joined: 12-04-06
May 1 2006 05:22
Labour Day in Thailand

Today, workers will "celebrate" National Labour Day, if "celebrate" can be an accurate word to describe what has ceased to be a festive occasion. Labour Day usually takes the form of emotional and heartfelt speeches at the Royal Plaza and Sanum Luang and petitions to various ministries listing improvements workers would like to see in their working conditions. This is usually followed by bitterness a few weeks or months later when their pleas for a higher and safer standard of living are not acted upon.

Labour organisers are asking for the minimum daily wage to be increased from 2 pounds & 46 pence to 3 pounds & 11 pence. This isn't likely to happen. The Labour Ministry and Central Wage Committee are considering an 8 pence increase next month, with the possibility of another increase later in the year. Worvit Chaloenlert, an economics lecturer at Chiang Mai university says "The government should redouble its efforts for workers and should not exploit the low-paid workforce as a gimmick to lure money from investors" True, but from this correspondents perspective there needs to be a lot more than a "redouble" of government effort.