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Taiwanese businessmen in Bangkok fear wage hikes, labor shortages

Taiwanese businessmen in Bangkok fear wage hikes, labor shortages

Bangkok, Dec. 29 (CNA) A planned nationwide increase in Thailand's minimum daily wage has Taiwanese businesses there worried that it will make it even harder for them to find workers next year in an already tight job market. "There have been many workers in Bangkok who have ended their rental agreements in preparation for returning to their hometowns to work," Thai-Taiwan Business Association President Norman Chang told CNA. Once the minimum daily wage is hiked to 300 baht (US$9.8), it will make sense for workers to return to work in their hometowns in provinces where daily wages are currently 150 baht to 200 baht, the businessman said. Aside from earning a more competitive wage, the workers will also benefit by saving money on housing and food and will be able to help their families with farm work at the same time, Chang said, making an existing labor shortage even worse. "Companies in the greater Bangkok area may have to offer a wage higher than that to be able to recruit new workers," he said. The planned wage hike, however, is not the only factor that could limit the availability of workers in Thailand's capital. The country's growing service and tourism sectors are already absorbing a number of people working in the manufacturing sector, said Thailand-based Taiwanese businessman Wang Wen-shan, the chairman of Jinpao Precision Industry Co., which operates a metal stamping factory in the Bangkok suburbs southeast of the city. In recent years, he said, many shopping malls have opened around the country and have proved more attractive to Thai workers than doing manual labor. "Thai people prefer working in the service sector rather than in factories," Wang said. Echoing Wang, Thai Feng Co. manager director Kuo Hsiu-min, a Taiwanese who is also based in Thailand, said she also has seen many shopping malls and hypermarkets opening in the provinces outside Bangkok over the past three years. That and a prospering tourism sector have lured many Thai workers away from factories, she said. Kuo estimated that the greater Bangkok area is suffering a shortage of around 200,000 workers. (By Namita Lin and Elizabeth Hsu)


Updated : 2021-04-17 23:22 GMT+08:00