Subscribe Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Wage hike not high for some

Wage hike not high for some

Wage hike not high for some

Garment workers earning the minimum wage will soon receive a $28 per month raise, but striking employees at a Phnom Penh factory, who earned more than the legal base pay, argue that they should receive a proportional salary hike.

Protests started on Thursday at Du Horse garment factory in the capital’s Por Sen Chey district. When the monthly minimum wage was $100 last year, the lowest paid employees at the factory earned $110. Therefore, strikers reasoned, management should continue paying workers $10 over the $128 minimum put into effect at the start of the year, said Mean Sophyreak, a Du Horse employee.

“For the new minimum wage, the government approved an additional $28 to our wages, so we should receive $138 per month,” said Mean Sophyreak, a member of the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers' Democratic Union (C.CAWDU), which is leading the strike. “But the company announced they would cut $10 from our normal wage before the raise, so we refused.”

However, the approximately 2,000 workers participating in the strike may be selectively interpreting the Ministry of Labour decree in November that announced 2015’s wage hike.

The Labour Ministry’s Labour Advisory Committee initially voted in favour of a $123 base salary in Cambodia’s garment industry on November 12. But, the ministry ultimately added $5 to that, making the minimum $128. There was no mandate for an across-the-board $28 raise.

Moeun Tola, head of the labour program at the Community Legal Education Center, said yesterday he saw both sides of the issue.

“[A strike] is a little bit over-reactive,” Tola said yesterday. “For sure, I understand [that to] the worker who already gets $110 … and now gets $128 while [workers who earned $100] get $128, it’s not fair for you.”

Better collective-bargaining systems between unions and factory management could help avoid strikes such as this one, Tola said.

Negotiations are scheduled for today, C.CAWDU legal officer Seang Yoth said. Management at Du Horse and C.CAWDU officials will discuss the wage and other matters.

“We will meet with the employer tomorrow to negotiate the demand,” Yoth said yesterday.

Factory officials could not be reached yesterday.


  • Professor beaten by mob in Phnom Penh after alleged hit-and-run

    Updated with new information: 6:44am, Tuesday March 13 2018 A university professor accused of a hit-and-run has been transported to Vietnam with serious head injuries after he was brutally beaten by a mob in Phnom Penh late Sunday afternoon. A video of the attack shows a group

  • American ‘fugitive’ arrested in Cambodia outside of US Embassy

    An American citizen was arrested on request by the US Embassy in Phnom Penh on Tuesday, according to Cambodian police. Major General Uk Hei Sela, chief of investigations at the Department of Immigration, identified the man as American Jan Sterling Hagen, and said he was

  • One Australian, one Cambodian killed in explosion at military base

    Updated: 5:20pm, Friday 16 March 2018 An Australian tourist and a Cambodian soldier were killed in an explosion on Thursday afternoon at an army base in Cambodia’s Kampong Speu province. The Australian, whom the government initially identified as a technical demining expert in his 40s, and

  • Australians protest Asean summit visit by PM Hun Sen

    Hundreds of protesters gathered in Sydney’s Hyde Park on Friday to protest against Cambodian strongman Hun Sen, who claimed to have been gifted millions of dollars by the Australian government ahead of a special Asean summit this weekend. An estimated 300 protesters, the majority of