Thai workers call on the government to increase national minimum wage and social benefit for aging population
15 August 2019
20 union activists of the Chemical Workers Union Alliance (CWUA) marched outside the government house demanding an increase of national daily minimum wage to 425 Baht and an increase of monthly social benefit for aging people to 3000 Baht.
The union activists cited the 425 Baht increase of national daily minimum wage was promised by the government party ‘Palang Pracharat’ during the general elections campaign and now that the party is leading the new government it should live up to its commitment and promise to the working people.
“Wage increase is key to improve the living standards of workers, contribute to fairer income distribution and reduce income gap,” said Kampong Kampitoon, CWUA president.
Prior to the general elections, the government party had made a strong policy to overcome the country’s ‘middle income trap’ by committing to national wage increase as the first step.
At the same time, Thai society is entering an aging society with increasing numbers of population reaching 60 years of age. Currently there are at least 3 million people in Thailand who are categorized as aging poor and their lives depend on ‘old age monthly social benefit’.
“The rate of 600 Baht per month the government is providing is far too low and unrealistic for an old age person to cover basic needs. As a result, the old ages whose lives depend on this monthly social benefit have poor and undignified living standards,” said Boonmee Wandee, a retired factory worker who has just turned 70.
In the CWUA’s statement: The government should halt all purchases of arms and weapons which do not generate any economic benefit for the people; these purchases are the causes of corruptions. Military generals and officers who hold more than one position and receive more than one salary should be removed to save up the country’s budget and increase social benefits for the people including old age benefit of 3000 Baht. Such initiative will significantly improve the living standards of the aging poor and contribute to the country’s economic growth.
Somyot Pruksakasemsuk Report
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