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Long-awaited meet on minimum wage

In response to labour activists’ demands, the government would hold a meeting to discuss a minimum-wage increase for garment and footwear workers next Monday and hoped to offer workers good news by March, a Ministry of Social Affairs official said yesterday.

The meeting, to be led by Social Affairs Minister Ith Sam Heng, would be the first discussion between government, union and employer representatives about the proposed increase, Som Aun, president of the government’s Cambodian Council of Nat-ional Unions (CCNU), said.

“After the meeting, Cambodia’s more than 80 unions will hold another meeting to make suggestions, then we will send recommendations to the Lab-our Advisory Committee to set up another meeting on the final decision,” he said.

“I expect the process will be finished in March.

“I cannot say in advance how much the workers will receive, but I can say they will receive more than before.”

Social Affairs Minister Ith Sam Heng’s call two weeks ago for a meeting was prompted by a demonstration led by Cambodian Confederation of Unions president Rong Chhun for the minimum monthly wage to be lifted from $61 to $150.

This was shortly afterwards followed by Free Trade Union president Chea Mony’s call for an increase to $120.

Som Aun said unions should not propose different numbers, but rather co-ordinate their efforts through the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mom Kunthear at kunthear.mom@phnompenhpost.com

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