Two further days of negotiations between unions and factories have again failed to result in an increase to the garment sector’s $61 monthly minimum wage.
Rong Chhun, president of the Cambodian Confederation of Unions, said employers, through the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC), had refused to budge on its $70 per month offer and that representatives of the 10 unions present were themselves divided.
“I will keep demanding $100 and will lead a big [strike] if workers can’t get this,” he said, adding that six pro-government unions had been willing to go as low as $73, three had demanded $100 and one $120.
Dave Welsh, American Center for International Labor Solidarity country manager, said CCU and Cambodian Labour Confederation, two groups ACILS was supporting in their push for an increase, had been holding strong on their respective demands, while GMAC had shown no signs of being willing to negotiate. “Even the government has shown more [flexibility] than employers,” he said.
GMAC secretary-general Ken Loo said an agreement could be reached only when unions made unified demands.