Search form

Login - Register | FOLLOW US ON

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - ‘Living wage’ talks draw major brands

‘Living wage’ talks draw major brands

Envoys of major clothing brands and retailers visited Phnom Penh this week to discuss how to achieve a “living wage” for Cambodia’s garment workers, while the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC) contends the “uncompetitive” industry is slowing down as buyers pull out.

The visit this week by members of the Action Collaboration Transformation (ACT) initiative came as the Ministry of Labour set Wednesday for talks about raising the minimum wage in the garment sector from $128.

ACT, which includes the brands H&M, Arcadia, Tesco, Primark, Next, C&A and others, as well as global union IndustriALL, met with suppliers, trade unions, government officials, GMAC and the International Labour Association to canvass “whether and how” its aim of raising wages through “industry collective bargaining” could be applied in Cambodia.

Debate currently surrounds earnings for Cambodia’s more than 600,000 garment workers ahead of upcoming minimum wage discussions.

Unions initially proposed $178, although some are considering pushing for $207 after a recent report on the cost-of-living for employees in the Kingdom’s biggest export sector.

Amid this, GMAC secretary-general Ken Loo has warned of a slowdown as brands, faced with rising wages, pulled out in favour of other regional markets.

Loo said between 10 and 15 factories had suspended workers in the past month because of a drop in orders.

But Joel Preston, from the Community Legal Education Centre, said the suggestion by GMAC that the suspensions indicated an unprecedented slowdown was simply well-timed “fear mongering” ahead of the upcoming wage negotiations.

0

Comments

Please, login or register to post a comment

Latest Video

Cambodia's last tile masters: Why a local craft is under threat

Brought over by the French, painted cement tile making has been incorporated into Cambodian design for more than a century, even as the industry has died out in Europe.

Interview: Loung Ung, author of First They Killed My Father

The story of Loung Ung and her family’s suffering under the Khmer Rouge became known around the world with the success of her autobiographical book, First They Killed My Father.

Setting up a drone for flight. Photo supplied

How Cambodia's first drone company is helping farmers

SM Waypoint claims its unmanned aerial vehicles can help local farm and plantation owners increase their yields.