Thai frozen seafood exporter boiling over wage-hike plan
Asian Sea Corporation Plc, a major frozen seafood producer and exporter, is threatening to move its production base from Thailand to neighbouring countries if the next government hikes the daily wage to 450 baht.
Somsak Amornrattanachaikul, CEO of Asian Sea, recently told local media that the company is preparing to invest in either Vietnam or the Philippines to boost its production capacity.
In the worst-case scenario, Asian Sea will relocate its production base outside of Thailand, a report in Bangkokbiz news said.
Both Vietnam and Indonesia have larger and younger workforces and their costs are lower, Somsak said.
According to the company’s website, it says one of its missions is: “To be an organisation that is good to society and [the] environment, and has a healthy, happy workforce.”
Another is: “To operate [its] business in compliance with applicable laws [and] good labour standards.”
Asian Sea also has a sustainability code that pledges to pay “fair wages” and a commitment to “human rights”.
According to its 2022 annual report, sales rose 17.7% year on year to 11.157 billion baht.
Move Forward’s pledge to increase the daily minimum wage to 450 baht has gained widespread criticism from the business sector.
The Thai Chamber of Commerce suggested that the next government carefully review its plan to increase the daily minimum wage to 450 baht.
Move Forward promised to hike wages within its first 100 days in office.
The daily minimum wage currently ranges between 328 and 354 baht, depending on the province.
It was raised by 5% in October last year.
The Pheu Thai Party, which narrowly lost to Move Forward, pledged to increase the daily minimum wage to 600 baht by 2027.