Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - No deal in garment wage talks

No deal in garment wage talks

Workers protest outside the Ministry of Labour
Workers protest outside the Ministry of Labour Pha Lina

No deal in garment wage talks

Minimum wage negotiations between garment industry unions and employer representatives remained in a stalemate after a meeting yesterday, with neither side willing to budge.

A coalition of unions is calling for the industry minimum wage to be raised to $177 a month, but employers say they can only afford $110 – a $10 bump from the current wage floor.

Minister of Labor and Vocational Training Ith Samheng, who facilitated the meeting, said that if a consensus was not reached by October 10, the two sides would take part in a Labor Advisory Committee vote on the issue.

Coalition of Cambodia Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union president Ath Thorn said: “I think that if the employers dare not increase the minimum wage like this, there will still be a deadlock or no solution for the final meeting next month.”

Thorn said that if the minimum wage was not lifted to a level that can provide decent living conditions for workers, his union would continue to hold protests.

Garment Manufacturers Association of Cambodia secretary-general Ken Loo said there was “always a chance” that the factory owners would consider agreeing to a higher minimum wage.

“In any case, the number of $110 is not what we are offering, it’s what we are saying is our ability to pay,” Loo said.

Loo said that a letter last Thursday from eight major global fashion brands committing to pay higher prices for stock would have “no effect” on the factory owners.

“It’s not meaningless, but it has no impact on the minimum wage negotiations,” he said.

“If all the buyers came together and gave a firm commitment [as to] the quantum of what the increase [they would offer], that would have an impact.”

Dave Welsh, country director of labour rights group Solidarity Center, said nothing was expected to be resolved until the final meeting in October.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

  • Breaking: PM says prominent human rights NGO ‘must close’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has instructed the Interior Ministry to investigate the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) and potentially close it “because they follow foreigners”, appearing to link the rights group to the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party's purported “revolution”. The CNRP - the

  • Rainsy and Sokha ‘would already be dead’: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday appeared to suggest he would have assassinated opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha had he known they were promising to “organise a new government” in the aftermath of the disputed 2013 national elections. In a clip from his speech

  • Massive ceremony at Angkor Wat will show ‘Cambodia not in anarchy’: PM

    Government officials, thousands of monks and Prime Minister Hun Sen himself will hold a massive prayer ceremony at Angkor Wat in early December to highlight the Kingdom’s continuing “peace, independence and political stability”, a spectacle observers said was designed to disguise the deterioration of

  • PM tells workers CNRP is to blame for any sanctions

    In a speech to workers yesterday, Prime Minister Hun Sen pinned the blame for any damage inflicted on Cambodia’s garment industry by potential economic sanctions squarely on the opposition party. “You must remember clearly that if the purchase orders are reduced, it is all