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Labour talks ‘show promise’

The first of 10 planned negotiation sessions between union, manufacturer and government officials on the minimum wage in Cambodia’s garment sector yesterday showed promise, several who attended the meeting said.

After the meeting of the working group, which includes nine members from each stakeholder group, participants were introduced to each other and given data to consider.

“From my point of view, I think it’s good that the government has brought both parties to the table to discuss,” said Kong Athit, vice president of the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union.

The minimum garment wage is $100 per month. Groups are requesting raises of up to $77.

When the working group takes its first day off on Sunday, about 250 people plan to protest outside the ministry seeking to change the country’s stringent union registration process, which “makes it difficult to create a union,” said Sar Mora, head of the Cambodian Food and Service Workers’ Federation.

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