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No boycott: Union meet could decide wage today

Independent labour unions will take part in the Ministry of Labour’s Labour Advisory Committee (LAC) meeting today, possibly making their decision on next year’s minimum wage in Cambodia’s garment sector.

The two independent LAC unions yesterday decided against boycotting the process after the Labour Ministry decided to include a union-endorsed $140 monthly wage as a suggested option for the LAC, which ultimately approves the minimum wage.

“I don’t want the wage discussion to be delayed more, because workers will lose,” said Ken Chhenglang, head of National Independent Federation Textile Union of Cambodia (NIFTUC), one of the LAC’s independent unions.

NIFTUC and the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union (C.CAWDU) considered boycotting the LAC after a working group decided to propose that the LAC consider only an employer-suggested wage of $110 and government-suggested wage of $121.

While other union leaders have declined to specify a minimum acceptable wage, Pav Sina of the Collective Union of Movement of Workers – which is not represented on the LAC – said yesterday that anything less than $125 will not be considered by his members.

The LAC will likely approve a minimum wage for 2015 in today’s meeting, C.CAWDU vice president Kong Athit said, after which, unions will gather to decide whether they accept.

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