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Workers' increase

A WEEK of strikes by garment workers in June has yielded a government proposal to

increase the minimum wage from $40 to $45 per month.

The raise has the backing of Labor Minister, Ith Sam Heng.

The Free Trade Union of Workers of the Kingdom of Cambodia President Chea Vichea

said a meeting of worker representatives from a number of industries agreed to accept

the proposal at a recent meeting.

He said only he and an official from the Posts and Telecommunications Ministry rejected

the proposal and held out for a $60 minimum wage, though they later dropped that

to $50.

Chea Vichea said the workers were not satisfied with the $5 increase saying it did

not match the level of price increases for basic goods.

In the meantime there appears to be little more prospect of industrial action. Vichea

said the next strike was not planned till next January when they would be pushing

for a reduction of the working week from 48 to 44 hours and the right to stay home

on public holidays.

Pov Sinuon, a garment worker and a victim of the March 30 grenade attack, said the

$5 increase was too little.

"We have fought a lot but had little success," she said

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