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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Solutions needed for workers

Garment factory workers from Kong Hong Cambodia march along Russian Boulevard towards Freedom Park
Garment factory workers from Kong Hong Cambodia march along Russian Boulevard towards Freedom Park yesterday in Phnom Penh. Garment workers across the nation are striking this week to demand a higher minimum wage. Vireak Mai

Solutions needed for workers

Dear Editor,

Strikes by factory workers are what you usually witness every morning if you have to commute by the factories. Striking has become a very disturbing problem to both the citizens and the government, while it has been reported that workers of more than 120 out of 800 garment factories were on strikes.

Workers go on strikes for one particular demand, the increase in the monthly wage to $160 per month. Surprisingly, the increase to $95 can be a sensational result for the workers, yet this amount of wage is still low for the workers to survive for they have to pay for accommodation, food and medical services.

The government might provide special incentives on medical services or accommodation for the workers. Is there any possible way that the government can provide free medical services for the workers?

Increasing wages and providing incentives are short-term solutions, yet the long-term solution is to increase the budget to improve education as most social problems stem from illiteracy. The budget on education in 2013 is $280 million.

The large gap and the effort is so far different compared to Singapore, as Singapore has invested $10.6 billion on education.

Through these next few years, I suggest the government put some hard effort into working on both the long-term and the short-term solutions.

Im Chanboracheat,
Phnom Penh

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