Looking into the issue deeper, we should have asked a very mainstream yet important question: whether increasing the wage of factory workers can really solve the problem that both the government and the workers are facing?
The tension and demands for higher wages started to become more critical when there were mass faintings reported at different factories.
With the increase in taxes and the price of food reported last month, will the wage raise really be the solution to the unrest? We can see that the price of food has become higher due to the increases in tax on food. The increase in tax has become an alarming factor for business people who have had to raise the prices of products.
Likewise, I believe an increase in wages will again signal the green light for business people to increase the price of products as increasing the wage will also increase demand. Increasing demand will eventually be a reason for business people to raise prices since there is no concrete body or regulator to limit and monitor the prices of products in Cambodia yet.
For this reason, the best solution for the government to tackle the problem is to find solutions to reduce market prices. The prices of products are high in Cambodia since Cambodia is a net importing country, according to the United Nations.
Cambodia even imports rice, the staple food, from neighbouring Vietnam and Thailand, even if Cambodia herself can produce surplus rice each year as there is a lack of production units to process the product.
The protests for wage rises will keep going if the prices of food and other products keep increasing. I would like to suggest that the government find solutions to decrease the market prices and to work on monitoring the market prices effectively.