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Analysis: SE Asian governments gamble on making cheap labor less cheap

Employees work in an automobile spare parts factory in Ayutthaya province, north of Bangkok December 7, 2012. The emerging market boom that characterised the first decade of the millennium saw growth rates surge and profits multiply, but now countries such as Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia face pressure from workers for a bigger share of the wealth. To match Analysis ASIA-WAGES/ REUTERS/Sukree Sukplang

Employees work in an automobile spare parts factory in Ayutthaya province, north of Bangkok December 7, 2012. The emerging market boom that characterised the first decade of the millennium saw growth rates surge and profits multiply, but now...more

Employees work in an automobile spare parts factory in Ayutthaya province, north of Bangkok December 7, 2012. The emerging market boom that characterised the first decade of the millennium saw growth rates surge and profits multiply, but now countries such as Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia face pressure from workers for a bigger share of the wealth. To match Analysis ASIA-WAGES/ REUTERS/Sukree Sukplang
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An employee works in an automobile spare parts factory in Ayutthaya province, north of Bangkok December 7, 2012. The emerging market boom that characterised the first decade of the millennium saw growth rates surge and profits multiply, but now countries such as Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia face pressure from workers for a bigger share of the wealth. To match Analysis ASIA-WAGES/ REUTERS/Sukree Sukplang

An employee works in an automobile spare parts factory in Ayutthaya province, north of Bangkok December 7, 2012. The emerging market boom that characterised the first decade of the millennium saw growth rates surge and profits multiply, but now...more

An employee works in an automobile spare parts factory in Ayutthaya province, north of Bangkok December 7, 2012. The emerging market boom that characterised the first decade of the millennium saw growth rates surge and profits multiply, but now countries such as Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia face pressure from workers for a bigger share of the wealth. To match Analysis ASIA-WAGES/ REUTERS/Sukree Sukplang
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Employees work in an automobile spare parts factory in Ayutthaya province, north of Bangkok December 7, 2012. The emerging market boom that characterised the first decade of the millennium saw growth rates surge and profits multiply, but now countries such as Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia face pressure from workers for a bigger share of the wealth. To match Analysis ASIA-WAGES/ REUTERS/Sukree Sukplang

Employees work in an automobile spare parts factory in Ayutthaya province, north of Bangkok December 7, 2012. The emerging market boom that characterised the first decade of the millennium saw growth rates surge and profits multiply, but now...more

Employees work in an automobile spare parts factory in Ayutthaya province, north of Bangkok December 7, 2012. The emerging market boom that characterised the first decade of the millennium saw growth rates surge and profits multiply, but now countries such as Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia face pressure from workers for a bigger share of the wealth. To match Analysis ASIA-WAGES/ REUTERS/Sukree Sukplang
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