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Low skills hinder pay hike: officials

If garment workers want higher pay they will need to increase their productivity, industry representatives and government officials said yesterday.

An Thai Socheat, a productivity expert at the labour ministry, said employers could not raise salaries unless garment makers increased productivity because they are competing with factories in neighbouring countries that had higher skilled workers. He was speaking at a seminar on skill promotion for the industry, which included presentations by government officials, representatives of the Garment Manufacturing Association in Cambodia and factory owners.

“Garment makers demand increased salaries, but they have lower skills [than garment makers in neighbouring countries]. If they have more skills and expertise, maybe their employer would not oppose a salary increase,” he said.  

Kaing Monika, GMAC’s business development manger, said it would launch more skills training programs for garment workers.

Chea Mony, president of the Free Trade Union, said the statements from government officials and GMAC representatives were misleading. Factories tested workers before they even hired them, he said.

“The reason workers want higher salaries is that they cannot cover the cost of living on their current salaries,” he said.

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