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Thai workers march on May Day, seek lower cost of living


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Workers march on May Day, seek lower cost of living
THE NATION

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BANGKOK: -- THAI WORKERS yesterday marched to Sanam Luang |to mark International Workers' Day, urging the government |to keep consumer-product |prices under control and |raise wages.

More than 1,000 workers from 14 federations of the National Congress of Thai Labour, after making merit yesterday morning, gathered at the Royal Plaza and marched to Sanam Luang in Bangkok, where a National Labour Day event was taken place.

They handed their proposals for better conditions to Labour Ministry permanent secretary Jirasak Sugandhajati, who presided over the event on behalf of caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, who was absent.

Labour Minister Chalerm Yoobamrung also did not show up. He told media in a separate interview that he was afraid of possible chaos, because there were many labour groups attending.

Demands

The labourers called on the government to lower the cost of living, accept International Labour Organisation Conventions 87 and 98 on freedom of assembly and collective bargaining, and raise their wages.

Another request was for childcare at work sites.

Workers from such provinces as Phuket, Udon Thani and Buri Rum urged the government to control consumer-product prices, revise daily pay, bring down living costs, and establish a fund for laid-off workers.

Meanwhile, Ranong employers expressed concern over labour shortages.

Jirasak said he would pass on all the requests to the government, and asked the labourers to be in unity with employers.

He said the government had accelerated its policies to upgrade the sustainable quality of life of labourers as well as preparing for full implementation of the Asean Economic Community in 2015.

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-- The Nation 2014-05-02

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Thai workers certainly deserve a better deal but 1st thing is to establish their own demands not immitate the demands of workers in the west.

The labourers called on the government to lower the cost of living, accept International Labour Organisation Conventions 87 and 98 on freedom of assembly and collective bargaining, and raise their wages.
they want the government to lower the cost of living then they want to raise wages ??

Another request was for childcare at work sites. This is Thailand where the extended family is the way of life ??

Workers from such provinces as Phuket, Udon Thani and Buri Rum urged the government to control consumer-product prices, revise daily pay, bring down living costs, and establish a fund for laid-off workers

How can you compare the cost of living in Phuket (tourist town) with Udon Thani, Burriram (farming areas) once again revise daily pay -when will they understand if wages go up so does the cost of living (money does not grow on trees)- a fund for laid-off workers (they ask for more pay to work now they ask for a fund if they don't work).

The Thai workforce does not understand " A fair days work for a Fair days pay they only consider the latter - as I have said in other posts ASEAN is coming and workers from neighboring countries where the dail rate is only ฿100 per day (perhaps) will flock here to snap up the ฿300 on offer and still remit 2/3 back home.

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Yes please, lower cost of living, more holidays and more free and discounted stuff

we can not afford...

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What's wrong, the cost of Mama noodles isn't going up and if you are a politician, a shareholder of Thai airways and one of those and such as those you can still get free first class travel.

Some people are never happy.

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Leave it to Uncle Chalerm, Labour Minister himself and former cop, to not show up to his own 'Labor Day' event out of fear. Or maybe he was arraid of working.

Little chicken needs to grow some feathers.

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Keep the prices as low as possible, but double or triple charge the ferang like they do at Buffalo Bridge!

Edited by Luk Mhee
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Keep the prices as low as possible, but double or triple charge the ferang like they do at Buffalo Bridge!

Anyway Yingluck on several occasions stated that it's all in the mind, prices have not risen they remain static.

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What's wrong, the cost of Mama noodles isn't going up and if you are a politician, a shareholder of Thai airways and one of those and such as those you can still get free first class travel.

Some people are never happy.

Yum Yum pork noodles at Tesco were 10 pkts for 48 baht, better than Mama--go for it.

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What's wrong, the cost of Mama noodles isn't going up and if you are a politician, a shareholder of Thai airways and one of those and such as those you can still get free first class travel.

Some people are never happy.

Yum Yum pork noodles at Tesco were 10 pkts for 48 baht, better than Mama--go for it.

I am so excited i could s..t, in fact i just have.

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Yes please, lower cost of living, more holidays and more free and discounted stuff

we can not afford...

And I want a bigger social security check too. cheesy.gifcheesy.gifcheesy.gif

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Catch 22. The Thai government is forever legislating to control prices. But you can't have price controls, falling living costs and pay increases. At least, not without firing more than a few workers.

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What's wrong, the cost of Mama noodles isn't going up and if you are a politician, a shareholder of Thai airways and one of those and such as those you can still get free first class travel.

Some people are never happy.

Yum Yum pork noodles at Tesco were 10 pkts for 48 baht, better than Mama--go for it.

Live on those and you will die early for sure ... even cheaper.

Yes I know people need to fill their belies NOW.

Poverty kills.

Edited by Jingthing
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Thai gov't...in the long run...will be impotent in keeping inflation in check...will within the next couple of years...be a worldwide phenomenon....

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What's wrong, the cost of Mama noodles isn't going up and if you are a politician, a shareholder of Thai airways and one of those and such as those you can still get free first class travel.

Some people are never happy.

Yum Yum pork noodles at Tesco were 10 pkts for 48 baht, better than Mama--go for it.

Live on those and you will die early for sure ... even cheaper.

Yes I know people need to fill their belies NOW.

Poverty kills.

I'll stick to my steamed potatoes, steamed pork and chicken, steamed green beans, does that make me ESTEAMED personthumbsup.gif

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The Thai workforce does not understand " A fair day's work for a fair day's pay".

And your evidence for such an inflammatory statement is what exactly?

Let us look at some facts about the Thai workforce which will put your insulting comment in some kind of perspective.

A fair day's work? The 48-hour six-day week with no paid holidays is common in Thailand. Many thousands of Thais toil in sweat shops for a pittance or in jobs with working conditions which would be unlawful in the West.

A fair day's pay? The average daily wage is estimated at around 320 baht. This is only 20 baht more than the mininimum wage which went up last year to 300 baht a day. Try keeping yourself, let alone your family, on this amount for a week and then let the rest of us know how you fared.

As the minmum wage for each province is determined by bodies often made up entirely of employers, the 300 baht figure is by no means universal. Many Thai people are forced to work for much less. One reason for this is the large number of Thai employers who import cheap labour (frequently illegal) from neighbouring countries with lower living standards - a problem which will increase as a result of Thailand's membership of the ASEAN community.

Despite GDP growth totaling more than 14 per cent over a three year period, more than 42 per cent of Thais still have to manage on around 162 baht a day - a little over half the official minimum wage and about enough to buy a a falang expat couple a loaf of bread from one of the bakeries which have sprung up to meet our exotic needs.

Perhaps one of the reasons Thai workers are pressing for price controls and wages to lift nearly half the population above the World Bank poverty level of five US dollars a day is inflation, which has steadily increased over the last six months. The official rate is now 2.45 per cent, with no sign of a slow-down.

The unfairness of the remuneration received by Thai people for their contribution to the economy was highlighted in some statistics presented by Professor Pasuk Phongpaichit at the King Prachadhipok Institute conference in November, 2009. Little has changed since.

In her keynote speech entitled "Towards a Fair Society" she pointed out:

The top 20 per cent of the Thai population owns 69 per cent of the country's assets while the bottom 20 per cent owns just one per cent.

The top one per cent owns nearly half of all the country's bank savings.

Nearly 20 per cent of farmers - or about 811,871 families - are landless,while 1-1.5 million farming families are tenants or struggling with insufficient land.

Ten per cent of land owners own more than 100 rai each, while the remaining 90 per cent owns one rai or less.

On income distribution, the wealthiest 20 per cent of Thais enjoys more than half the gross domestic product with the bottom 20 per cent getting four per cent.

The gap between the richest and poorest family is 13 times, higher than all neighbouring countries.

The Professor called for sweeping reforms of the current taxation system, which worsens economic disparity between rich and poor by allowing easy tax evasion among the super wealthy. The focus on indirect taxation - such as VAT which the government has plans to raise from its current 7 per cent - treats the poor the same as the rich elite.

So. . . If Thai workers sometimes seem less motivated than you would like them to be, hopefully you will now begin to understand why.

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